Case details pertaining to the restricting Joy rides in Corbett National Park as per HC judgement dated 6.04.2018 were sought as order could not be found on website - CIC cannot issue any direction to the State public authority or the High Court
The appellant has stated that an Order was passed by 2 judges division bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Lok Pal Singh, restricting the joy rides in the Corbett National Park, Ramnagar, Uttarakhand. The said bench also issued direction to Wildlife Institute of Dehradun to carry out survey within three months to assess the carrying capacity of these zones to know the number of vehicles which can be permitted to ply to avoid minimum disturbance to the wildlife. In this connection, the appellant has sought the following information:
1. Case name.
2. Case citation.
3. Copy of order restricting the use of joy rides in park.
Ground for Second Appeal
The CPIO has not provided the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant had filed detailed written submissions in which he had stated that even though he has the details of the above mentioned order, however, since a copy of the same is not available on the website of the Hon’ble High Court of Uttarakhand, the CPIO may be directed to provide the desired information to him. He has also requested that penalty may be imposed on the concerned CPIO for not providing the desired information till date.
The CPIO submitted that an appropriate reply was given to the appellant on 22.05.2019. He further submitted that their office was not a party to the court case and thus they were never given a copy of the order. In this context, it is to submit that the applicant had requested the case details pertaining to the Joy rides in Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand as per judgement dated 6th April, 2018 of the Divisional Bench. The Applicant had asked the following information (i) Case Name, (ii) Case citiation and (iii) copy of order restricting the use of joy rides on park. In response to his RTI application dated 13.05.2019, the CPIO, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun informed the applicant to contact the office of Chief Wildlife Warden, Government of Uttarakhand, as WII does not have copy of the judgment. Against the First Appeal of the applicant dated 30.05.2019, the FAA vide his letter dated 13.06.2019 informed that the WII does not have any such information in its record and the information sought by him pertains to the Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW), Uttarakhand and was requested to contact CWLW, Uttarakhand to seek the reply of his RTI queries and since the RTI is already disposed of by the CPIO, the Appellate Authority has no right to forward it further to any other public authority.
The appellant contended that though he had asked for a copy of the order, the CPIO denied the same stating that the copy of the judgment is not available. He stressed on the fact that the copy of the order and judgment is not the same subject.
From a perusal of the relevant case records, it is noted that the appellant wanted an authenticated copy of the order passed in Writ Petition No. 06/2012.
During the hearing it was enquired from the CPIO as to why the desired information was not provided to the appellant and why assistance was not sought from the holder of the information, to which the CPIO submitted that they had suitably guided the appellant to approach the custodian of information. He further explained that as the information sought is not available the same could not be given.
The Commission is of the opinion that Chief Wildlife Warden, Government of Uttarakhand is a State public authority and hence the same is beyond the jurisdiction of the Commission. Moreover, when the appellant had not found the order on the website, he should have approached the Honourable Court to obtain the information. The Commission cannot issue any direction to the State public authority nor also the High Court in this case. Further, the appellant was rightly informed by the CPIO to contact the State authorities who are the custodian of the information. Therefore, no further action is warranted.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Anchit Jain v. Wildlife Institute of India in File no.: CIC/WLIOI/A/2019/645134, Date of Decision: 13.05.2021