The Supreme Court may have banned the use of black films and tinted windows in vehicles but is itself unwilling to reveal if its staff is guilty of using such cars.
The apex court has decided to challenge a Central Information Commission (CIC) order asking it to make public details of its fleet of cars and whether vehicles being used by judges and staff have tinted glass or windows coated with dark films.
In an April 2012 judgment, the SC had banned the use of black films and tinted windows in all vehicles. Last year’s Delhi gang rape had taken place inside a bus with tinted glasses.
RTI activist Jagjit Singh, who had filed for the information, said: “I was interested in knowing if SC vehicles followed this ban and sought details of cars still having tinted glass and dark films.”
He was informed by the SC that the April 26 order of the CIC will be challenged in the apex court. “I write to inform you that as advised, this registry has decided to challenge the said order of the CIC in the SC,” Smita Vats Sharma, additional registrar and the chief public information officer of the Supreme Court, informed Singh.
In 2009, the Delhi high court had declared that the CJI’s office came under the RTI ambit.
As reported by HT earlier, apart from details about dark films and tinted windows, Singh also sought details about number of government vehicles in use by the apex court, their make, average monthly fuel consumption, copies of pollution under check certificates and who uses which vehicle.
SC advocates had submitted that such information, especially the numbers of cars being used by apex court judges, could adversely affect their safety and security.
Chief information commissioner Satyanand Mishra had said there was “some merit in this argument” but that there was no reason not to provide the remaining information.