The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Delhi high court to make public the list of cases where decision has been reserved by judges for over two months.
Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra said that the number of cases where decision has been reserved is a “plain factual information” which can be made public.
The case relates to an RTI application filed by Delhi-based PD Gupta who sought to know from the High Court the number of cases in which orders have been reserved but were not passed even after a lapse of two month.
The high court rejected disclosure of information citing two grounds — first, the information is not maintained in the form requested by Gupta. And secondly, the court masters provide information about such cases to the chief justice in a sealed cover which is held by them in fiduciary capacity making it exempt from disclosure under the transparency law.
Rejecting the arguments of the High Court, Mishra said, “As admitted by the CPIO, there is a practice followed in the High Court under which the court masters are supposed to compile such lists to be furnished to the Chief Justice of the High Court every month.
“Even if it is admitted that the office of the Chief Justice may not be compiling and collating such data received from court masters, it should suffice if photocopies of the reports furnished by the court masters are provided to the appellant.”
He directed the High Court to locate such reports for the period of last two years and provide to the appellant.