Are orders of National Green Tribunal applicable to all states and related information - CIC: Owing to larger public interest raised, PIO to re-visit the RTI application in a point-wise manner and provide the relevant information wherever it is available
The appellant has sought the following information:
1. It has been observed that National Green Tribunal (Principal Bench), New Delhi, used to issue most of its directions/orders/guidelines relating to Delhi/NCR only, despite their necessity for other States of India also. Provide information as to whether the directions/orders/guidelines of National Green Tribunal (PB), New Delhi, are applicable for all States, as in the case of Judgements of the Supreme Court cases? If not, provide reasons with the support of relevant documents.
2. Provide copy of such relevant documents and information as to what are the constraints of the Zonal Green Tribunals to ditto the orders/directions/guidelines of the National Green Tribunal (PB), New Delhi, for their respective zones, suo-motu?
3. Provide copy of Note Sheets for processing the representations to National Green Tribunal (PB), New Delhi dated 01/02/2017, 20/03/2017 and 24/04/2017.
4. And other related information.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO has denied providing the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant submitted that he is not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO as the desired information was not given to him. He stated that he has filed this RTI application in general public interest to give a holistic proposal for lessening Air Pollution and betterment of Environment in Delhi/NCR, exploring the possibility of maximum utilization of existing Northern Railway infrastructure, enhancing the scope of better local "Suburban" train services and thereby controlling movement of Motor Vehicles for journeys to Delhi and back from NCR, instead of hunting for new ones & also to fulfil the purposes of the RTI Act-2005 for which it has been enacted.
The CPIO submitted that he will abide with the order of the Commission.
From a perusal of the relevant case records, it is noted that the reply of the CPIO dated 16.12.2018 is not proper. The then CPIO rather than considering the points separately had given a clubbed response to all the points raised by the appellant. The then CPIO is advised to remain careful while handling the RTI applications in future. As far as the RTI application is concerned, it is noted that certain points raised in the RTI application are not strictly covered u/s 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act, however, owing to the fact of involvement of larger public interest raised by the appellant through his RTI application, the CPIO is directed to re-visit the RTI application in a point-wise manner and provide the relevant information to him wherever it is available and in case the information does not exist, a categorical reply regarding its non-availability should be given to the appellant. With regard to point no. 3, all the relevant information i.e. action taken on the representations of the appellant should be supplied to him in the form of notesheets and correspondence generated while processing of the above mentioned representations and in case no action was taken on his representations, a reply to that effect should be given to the appellant.
In view of the above observations, the CPIO is directed to provide a revised reply to the appellant on all the points as discussed above within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of this order under intimation to the Commission.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Tushar Kanti V. National Green Tribunal in Decision no.: -CIC/NGTRI/A/2018/148587/03204, Date of Decision: 30/03/2020