How many candidates have been disqualified on the ground of substandard height since the inception of Indian Forest Service? – Appellant: Asking him to visit Delhi to inspect document when he is in Kerala is unreasonable - CIC cautioned the Respondent
The appellant cleared the Indian Forest Service Exam with All India rank 80 in 2016, in regard to this he has sought the following information:
1. In the context of entry into Indian Forest Service, how many candidates have been disqualified on the ground of substandard height (since the inception of Indian Forest Service)
2. With regard to height criterion vis a vis entry into Indian Forest Service, since the inception of Indian Forest Service, whether the Government of India has given any kind of relaxation for anyone who did not meet the stated minimum height criterion.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant was not present despite duly served notice via e-mail dated 06.02.2020. The CPIO submitted that an apt reply was sent to the appellant vide letter dated 06.04.2018. On a query by the Commission, regarding the rationale behind asking the appellant to inspect documents, when specific information was sought, he contended that the information sought by the appellant in point no. 1 is available from the year 2010 onwards but not in the desired format. He further submitted that there was no relaxation allowed in respect of height criteria as sought in point no. 2 of the RTI application.
Based on a perusal of the record, it was noted that the appellant had contested the reply dated 06.04.2018 in his first appeal and stated that asking him to visit Delhi to inspect document when he is in Kerala is unreasonable. The FAA had not considered the appellant’s contention and had passed a non speaking order. Be that as it may, a revised pointwise categorical reply should be given to the appellant. In case, information is not available the same should be specifically stated in respect of point no. 1 of the RTI application.
In view of the above observations, the CPIO is directed to provide a revised reply as discussed above to the appellant within 7 days from the date of receipt of the order. The Respondent is cautioned to exercise due care in future to ensure that correct and complete information is furnished timely to the RTI applicant(s) as per provisions of the Act failing which penal proceedings under Section 20 shall be initiated.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Surjith P v. Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change in Decision no.: CIC/MOENF/A/2018/630180/02871, Date of Decision: 12/02/2020