The Supreme Court’s refusal to share information regarding the number of cases awaiting pronouncement of judgments after completion of hearing is all set to reach the Central Information Commission (CIC).
After his appeal against SC Chief Public Information Officer’s decision not to part with any information on cases awaiting verdict was dismissed, RTI activist Commodore (retd) Lokesh K. Batra has decided to move the CIC.
“How can the Supreme Court say that it does not have the information when similar information is available in the Delhi High Court?” Batra told HT, adding he would challenge the order before the CIC.
“If the SC does not have this information how would the judges concerned track these cases?” he said.
Batra had sought to know from the apex court CPIO the number of cases pending for judgments where arguments have been heard prior to December 31, 2007 and judgments were reserved. He had sought similar information regarding such cases in 2008 and 2009.
On January 22, the CPIO had refused to part with the information saying, “data was not maintained in the Registry in the matter sought for by you”.
The CPIO said, “The matters filed in the Supreme Court of India are pending/sub-judice matters…till they are decided.”
In his appeal, besides citing the high court’s willingness to share similar information, Batra had said he did not seek the information in any particular format. But first appellate authority M.K. Gupta rejected his appeal.
On the other hand, in line with the spirit of its January 12 verdict on RTI, the Delhi High Court provided all the information sought by Batra.
According to the high court information officer’s response dated January 27, 2010 there are six cases in which judgments were reserved, prior to December 31, 2007, but the verdicts have not been delivered. There are four such cases in 2008 and 367 cases in 2009.