CJI’s office comes under RTI Act says SC
New Delhi, Nov 13: The Supreme Court has said that the office of the Chief Justice of India will under the Right to Information Act.
The court declared the office of the CJI as a public authority under the RTI. The court upheld the verdict of the Delhi High Court and said that transparency and accountability go hand in hand.
In November 2017, RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal filed an RTI in the Supreme Court seeking information on the assets of judges. He was refused the information, following which he approached the Central Information Commission. The CIC asked the SC to disclose the information on the ground that the office of the CJI comes under the purview of the RTI Act.
The SC then moved the Delhi High Court contending that the declaration of assets by its judges to the CJI is personal information which cannot be revealed.
A single judge of the Delhi HC upheld the order of the CIC and said that the order of the CJI comes under the RTI Act. In the meantime, a full court of the Supreme Court resolved that the assets of judges be declared voluntarily in public by publishing them on the official website.
The order of the single judge was challenged before a division bench, following which a three-judge bench was constituted.
After the three-judge bench upheld the order of the single judge, an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court. The Bench headed by the CJI had reserved orders and will now pronounce the verdict on Wednesday.