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HC Comes under RTI Scanner

PTI  New Delhi, June 06, 2007
First Published: 15:41 IST(6/6/2007) | Last Updated: 15:47 IST(6/6/2007)

The Delhi High Court came under the RTI scanner after the Central Information Commission (CIC) held that people have a right to know the procedure that went behind appointment of its Public Information Officer (PIO).

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"The public has a right to know the procedure that went into appointment of PIO and matters that weighed with the Hon'ble Justices deliberating on the issue," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.

The decision came on an information appeal filed by Delhi-based advocate Manish Khanna, seeking information on details of officers and judges in the High Court who had deliberated upon the appointment of its Information Officer.

The CIC, in its order passed on Thursday, has asked the High Court Joint Registrar to provide the information sought to the appellant within 15 days.

Rejecting the contention that the CIC was not empowered to examine functioning and conduct of judicial business of the High Court, it observed that the issue pertaining to appointment of Information Officer was a matter of "public interest."

The Delhi High Court's reply to Khanna's RTI application revealed that there was a delay of more than a year in the
appointment of its PIO which was notified on November eight last year.

As per the provisions of the RTI Act, every "public authority" was to appoint Information Officer within 100 days of the enactment of the Act, viz June 21, 2005.

The appellant's request to impose penalty on the High Court was, however, turned down by the Commission.

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