New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has directed the government to make public the files related to the decision of appointing expert members in the National Green Tribunal.
The tribunal was set up in 2010 under Article 21 of the Constitution, which assures the citizens the right to a healthy environment. It is a special fast-track court to handle expeditious disposal of cases pertaining to environmental issues. It includes four expert and two judicial members.
The case relates to application filed by a Bangalore- based RTI applicant who sought to know a number of information concerning the approval of Appointments Committee of the Cabinet to appoint expert members to the tribunal along with details of file movement.
The matter came to CIC after the Prime Minister`s Office transferred it to DOPT. The applicant submitted that the transfer was unnecessary since the proposal had been sent to the Prime Minister as the Chairman of the ACC, the PMO should have provided him the information.
"The establishment officer located in the Department of Personnel and Training is the secretary to the ACC and holds all records on behalf of the ACC. Therefore it was not entirely wrong on part of the CPIO of the PMO to have transferred the RTI application," Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said.
He said since decision has already been taken, Cabinet papers on the basis of which it was taken should be provided.
"If the ACC has already decided the matter and the decision has been implemented by way of appointment of expert members to the National Green Tribunal, we do not see any reason why the relevant papers should not now be disclosed," he said.