Will CJI come under RTI ambit?
The Supreme Court will pronounce the verdict on whether or not the office of Chief Justice of India comes under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act on Wednesday.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court will pronounce the verdict on whether or not the office of Chief Justice of India comes under the ambit of Right to Information (RTI) Act on Wednesday.
The order will be passed by a five-judge Constitution bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices NV Ramana, DY Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna on a petition filed by a Supreme Court Secretary-General challenging the January 2010 judgment of the Delhi High Court.
The High Court in its order had declared the CJI's office a "public authority" and said that it should come under the RTI Act.
The bench had reserved the order on April 4. Chief Justice Gogoi had earlier observed that in the name of transparency, one cannot destroy the institution.
In November 2007, an RTI activist Subhash Chandra Aggarwal had filed an RTI in the Supreme Court seeking information on judges' assets but the information was denied.
Aggarwal then approached the Central Information Commission (CIC) which asked the apex court to disclose information on the ground that the Chief Justice of India's office comes within the ambit of the Act.
In January 2009, a plea was moved in the Delhi High Court against the CIC order but the same was upheld. Attorney General K K Venugopal, who was representing Supreme Court's Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), had submitted that sharing information connected with Collegium, which is under the CJI office, would make judges and the government shy and destroy judicial independence.
The CPIO is the authority tasked to respond to RTI queries related to the court.