SC set to chart course of Karnataka politics, office of CJI today
New Delhi, Nov 13: The Supreme Court is set to pronounce two very important verdicts today. While one would decide the next course of politics in Karnataka, the other would decide on whether the CJI's office comes under the ambit to the Right to Information Act.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce today, 13 its verdict on the pleas of 17 disqualified Congress-JD (S) MLAs of Karnataka challenging the orders of the then Assembly speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to disqualify them.
A three-judge bench of justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari had on October 25 reserved its verdict on the petitions filed by these disqualified MLAs.
Kumar had disqualified these 17 MLAs of ruling the Congress-JD(S) coalition ahead of a trust vote in July.
The then chief minister H D Kumaraswamy had resigned after losing the trust vote, which paved the way for the BJP-led government in the state under B S Yediyurappa.
By-polls to 15 out of these 17 assembly seats which fell vacant following the disqualification of MLAs are scheduled on December 5 and candidates are required to file their nomination papers between November 11 and November 18.
The court will also pronounce its verdict on a plea challenging the Delhi High Court's decision bringing the office of the chief justice of India under the Right to Information Act.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi will pronounce the judgement at 2 pm.
Other members of the bench are Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
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.