New Delhi, November 13: In a major step towards judicial transparency, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that office of Chief Justice of India (CJI) is public authority under the purview of the transparency law, Right to Information Act (RTI). The top Court ruled that some protection should also be given to the judges. While upholding the Delhi High Court judgement, the top Court said, 'Transparency doesn’t undermine judicial independency' and the CJI office is a public authority under RTI. The majority verdict 3:2 was in favour of CJI.
The top Court says some protection also to the judges as the right to privacy, confidentiality clauses under the RTI. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna pronounced the judgement at 2 pm on Wednesday. Supreme Court Verdict on Whether Chief Justice of India's Office Comes Under RTI Act to Be Delivered Tomorrow.
Here's the tweet:
'Transparency doesn’t undermine judicial independency', Supreme Court says while upholding the Delhi High Court judgement which ruled that office of Chief Justice comes under the purview of Right to Information Act (RTI). https://t.co/axAjUFzDRr
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2019
The SC pronounced its verdict on petitions challenging the Delhi High Court decision bringing the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. On April 4, a five-judge constitution bench had reserved its verdict on the appeals filed in 2010 by the Supreme Court secretary general and its central public information officer against the high court and the central information commission's (CIC's) orders.
According to reports, the move to bring the office of the CJI under the transparency law was initiated by RTI activist S C Agrawal. His lawyer Prashant Bhushan had said that though the apex court should not have been judging its own cause, it is hearing the appeals due to "doctrine of necessity".