Information about cutting of trees
The Applicant sought information about the plantation and the cutting of the trees on a plot of land which, he claimed was handed over to the Horticulture Department in the year 1991 by the Gram Sabha, Khera, Khurd, Delhi. Being unhappy with the reply provided by the PIO, he filed an appeal before the FAA who dismissed the appeal holding that the Appellant has not pointed out as to what is that which is misleading and incomplete in the information supplied to him.
View of the CIC
The Appellant pointed out that he had specifically sought to know how much money the Government had spent on plantation in the above mentioned land. The Respondents stated that they do not have any records in this regard. The Commission directed the PIO to formally communicate this fact to the Appellant.
The Appellant further pointed out that he had asked under whose permission the trees were cut down? As the Respondents had no firm answer to this query, the Commission directed the PIO to furnish this information to the Appellant. The Commission directed that if the information is not available in the records, the PIO shall submit a sworn affidavit to the Commission—with a copy to the Appellant— affirming the fact of non-availability of the information.
The Appellant wanted to know as to what action the public authority has taken against the employees/persons who had cut down the trees in bulk. The Respondents stated that “no action has been taken". The Commission directed the PIO to formally communicate this fact to the Appellant.
A PIO should remember that even the fact that an information is not available is also an information which ought to be provided to an applicant on demand.
Citation: Shri Raj Pal S/o Late Shri Jage Ram v. Development Department Government of DTC in File No. CIC/AD/A/2011/002255