|Early Times Report|
Srinagar, Nov 9: As Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Special Forest Division Tangmarg failed to provide details under RTI Act to an information seeker about wood based licenses issued by him , the State Information Commission (SIC) taking cognizance of the case has issued show cause notice to the DFO asking him to submit his response. SIC has also castigated Conservator Forests concerned for not adjudicating the first appeal.
Detail available with Early Times reveal that an RTI application dated 15.01.2018 was filed by Irfan Banka Chairman JK RTI Foundation with PIO/Special Forest Division, Tangmarg, Baramulla seeking information on 13 points relating to issuance of secondary wood based licenses by the Special Forest Division, Tangmarg. As the DFO who is also the designated PIO failed to provide the information to information seeker within the specified period, he filed 1st Appeal on 15.01.2018 with Conservator of Forests, North Circle, Sopore on 11.03.2018. Information seeker was under this impression that the said officer is the designated First Appellate Authority (FAA). The 2nd appeal was transferred by Conservator of Forests, North Circle, Sopore to Conservator of Forests, Srinagar Circle on 22.03.2018 as the Special Forest Division Tangmarg comes under the administrative control of Conservator of Forests Srinagar Circle.
SIC in its order ruled, "After going through the arguments advanced by the respondents, the Commission observed that the RTI application has not only been mishandled by the PIO but also by the FAA/Conservator of Forests. Instead of deciding the First Appeal in accordance with law which was transferred to him by the Conservator of Forests, North Circle, Sopore, the Conservator of Forests, Srinagar Circle raised technical issued with the result the appellant was deprived of the information he had sought. The appeal is accordingly disposed of. Registry is directed to issue a show cause notice upon PIO Special Forest Division, Tangmarg, Baramulla to explain as to why he caused delay of about 30 days in furnishing the information to the appellant".