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SC finally brings offices of Chief Justice of India & Governors under the ambit of RTI Act

July 7, 2017

Bench said, There is nothing to hide for the Chief Justice of India office.

SC under RTI

Shedding judiciary’s reluctance to come within the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Supreme Court for the first time on Thursday favoured bringing the office of the chief justice within the domain of the transparency law.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy said offices of all constitutional functionaries should be made amenable to the RTI law to bring accountability & transparency in their functioning.

The Apex court specifically pointed out that the offices of the governors & the CJI should be brought under the ambit of RTI Act.

The bench was hearing a batch of petitions challenging a Bombay HC order declaring the governor’s office as public authority & directing the Goa Raj Bhavan to make public the governor’s report sent to the President on the political situation in the state during July-August 2007.

Information was sought under RTI by Manohar Parrikar, who was then leader of the opposition in Goa assembly.

Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, said constitutional authorities discharge sovereign functions & they should be exempted from coming under the RTI Act.

However, the bench, didn’t agree with his submission & said, “What’s there to hide? There’s nothing to hide for the Chief Justice of India.”

“There’s no secretive business of the CJI & the office of CJI should be brought within RTI’s ambit. Why governor & CJI shouldn’t be brought under RTI?” the bench asked.

The issue whether the Supreme Court should come within the ambit of RTI Act making it obligatory for the CJI to make public information pertaining to appointment of judges and his correspondences with the government is under consideration before a Constitution bench.

It’s for the 1st time that the Supreme Court batted for implementation of RTI in judiciary.


Source - PTI

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