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First appeal under RTI Act – 2005

An Email letter send to Chairman Rubber Board as follows.

from കേരളഫാര്മര്/Keralafarmer <[email protected]>
to “Sajan Peter I.A.S” <[email protected]>
bcc <[email protected]>
date 19 Feb 2008 21:32
subject First appeal under RTI Act – 2005
mailed-by gmail.com

FIRST APPEAL UNDER RTI ACT – 2005

From
S.Chandrasekharan Nair
Shri Raghav, Perukavu,
Peyad – PO, Thiruvananthapuram
Pin: 695573

To
The appellate authority,
Rubber Board, Kottayam,
Kerala. Pin: 686002

Sub:- RTI Act – 2005 – first appeal – details of export for the year 2006-07.Ref:-

1. Sub:- My application dated 24-1-2008
2. Ref:- Rubber Board reply No. MPD/EPC/25/2007-08

Sir,
I had applied for the following information regarding Country-wise export details of Natural Rubber for the year 2006-07 in respect of the total projected quantity of 56545 Tonnes carrying a value of Rs. 5,13,73,77,000.00 as per my application first cited. (Copy enclosed)

1. Date of export 2. Name of exporter 3. Quantity of export 4. Grade/type of export 5. Country to which exported 6. Value of export.

However as per your letter second cited the Public Information Officer provided only a little information. (Copy enclosed)

I would request the honorable appellate authority to provide the information requested by me as per request first cited as per RTI Act – 2005. You had in your letter dated 8-2-2008 informed that the details of export run to hundreds of pages for a year. If so, I would request you to provide the information in CD format for which I am prepared to pay the cost.

Place: Thiruvananthapuram……….Yours faithfully

Date: 20-02-2008……………………….. Sd/-
………………………………(S.Chandrasekharan Nair)

I am sending a hard copy of this application in confirmation.

3 attachments Download all attachments
First cited.doc
12K View as HTML Open as a Google document Download
Your-letter.doc
8K View as HTML Open as a Google document Download
Export-statement.xls
114K View as HTML Open as a Google spreadsheet Download

The hard copy of the above mentioned application send to Chairman under Regd by post.

A quick reference can be made here.

Decision No. CIC/WB/C/2007/00345 dated 18/02/2008 on Complaint from Sh. Karthik Jayashankar Vs Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) No.CIC/WB/C/2007/00345 dated 16.5.2007

Visit: http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_18022008_02.pdf

DECISION NOTICE

We agree with learned Counsel assisting appellant Ms. Lakshmi Jayashankar’s rejoinder quoted above that none of the grounds decided upon for denying information is valid. Under Rule 4 (a) of the RTI Act (Regulation of Fee & Cost Rules) 2005 which came into force on September 16, 2005 a fee is expected to be charged for each page “created or copied”, which indicates that all information held by or under the control of any public authority is accessible to the public as is covered by the ‘right to information’ defined in sec. 2(j), even when it needs to ‘collected’. This is, of course, subject to the exceptions laid down in sec. 7(1). None of these exemptions includes the kind of exemption the

MoEF seeks to foist through its decision of 27.9.06. Therefore, the information sought will now be provided to appellant Shri Karthik Jayashankar within 30 working days from the date of receipt of this Decision Notice. However, since it has been agreed by both parties that providing of the information sought i.e. from 1983 onwards, would disproportionately divert the resources of MOEF, the information will be provided for the period 1.1.2000 to 1.1.2007. The Decision taken in the Ministry’s meeting of 27.9.06 is therefore invalid in law. However, the then Secretary Dr. Prodipto Ghosh has since retired and, therefore, no action u/s 20 (1) is contemplated in this matter, since no other individual can be held liable for a decision taken in a meeting chaired by the Secretary for obstructing the furnishing of information.

However, we are surprised to find that the Ministry of Environment & Forests, the ultimate authority charged with the conservation of rapidly depleting forest cover in the country, has abdicated this authority by failing to keep a record of all diversion of forest lands for construction activity, even if this be only for zoos. CPIO Shri Aditya Kumar Joshi has explained during the hearing that diversion up to 40 hectares can be taken at the State Level and no record of this is kept at the Centre. We cannot, of course, comment on the merits of such delegation, but would still hold that complete information regarding forest land, its diversion or its depletion must be a matter of record with the Central Government and would qualify for suo moto publication under sec. 4(1) sub section b) (xi), sub sec. c) and sub sec. d). Under the authority vested in us u/s 25(5) of the RTI Act, therefore, we recommend to the MOEF the documentation of the above information on forest land and this may be published as warranted u/s 4(1).

The appeal is, therefore, allowed. Announced in the hearing.

Notice of this decision be given free of cost to the parties.

(Wajahat Habibullah)

Chief Information Commissioner

18.2.2008

Website: http://www.cic.gov.in/

=====================================

An Email received from P.C.John (Appellate Authority) as follows.

[email protected]
to me

Pease find the enclosed attachment

RTI Act-Chandrasekharan Nair.doc
91K View as HTML Open as a Google document Download

The letter as Document

My reply

Sir,
This is to acknowledge the receipt of your email No.59/1/2008-Vig. of 25 February 2008.

I am grateful to you for the consideration being shown to me. I understand that the information sought by me under the RTI Act cannot be furnished for want of sufficient man-power in the Office of the Rubber Board as it requires compilation of various records from different files/registers.
I have noticed in page 14 of the Statement published by the Board that on many occasions the Natural Rubber was exported to various countries at a price much lower than the then prevailing market rate in India. This was what prompted me to seek those Information in order to ascertain more details of such export.
Now that you have expressed some practical difficulties to provide those information in the format in which I have sought. The information may not be useful to me if all such details are not received. Hence I shall be satisfied if copies of those pages of data lying at various files and registers are made available to me as such so that I can compile them to arrive at the published figures; how many may the number of those pages be.

I shall be thankfull if those pages are copied in a CD and given to me.
Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
Sd/-
S.Chandrasekharan Nair
Shri Raghav, Perukavu, Peyad-PO
Thiruvananthapuram – 695 573
Ph: 0471 2283033
Mob: 9495983033
_________________________________________

PS. On account of personal reasons I am unable to attened to the hearing on 5th March 2008. Kindly arrange to forward the documents requested by me in the Email.
Thiruvananthapuram …………………..Yours faithfully
29-02-2008 ………………….S.Chandrasekharan Nair)

The reply of the appellate authority of Rubber Board on 4-3-08 via Email  as Doc. attached.

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