Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CJI comes under RTI, rules Delhi HC

In a landmark verdict, the Delhi high court on Tuesday said the Chief Justice of India is a public authority and his office comes within the ambit of the RTI Act as the concept of judicial independence is not judge’s personal privilege but responsibility cast on the person. This is in sharp contrast to Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan’s stand that his office was outside the ambit of the transparency law.

However, the high court added that notes, jottings and draft judgments of the CJI’s office would not fall within the umbrella of the transparency law. But “if the judge turns in notes, along with the rest of his files to be maintained as a part of the record, the same may be disclosed,” court said.

The apex court will now have to appeal to itself against the high court order. As soon as the court pronounced its verdict, counsel for the apex court sought the certificate copy of the HC order to file an appeal.

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