The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed a Central Information Commission (CIC) order after the Centre pleaded that documents relating to the appointment and transfer of judges could not be revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Challenging the order of the CIC, which had asked the government to disclose documents and file-notings on appointment of Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh, Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra pleaded that such informations are beyond the purview of RTI Act.
"Correspondence exchanged between constitutional authorities is beyond the purview of the Act and the commission erred in law by directing to disclose it," the government said in its petition.
Justice S Ravindra Bhat, after hearing his contention, stayed the CIC order and issued notice to the RTI applicant on whose plea the Commission had passed the direction.
The Commission on January 19 had directed the Centre to disclose all information and file notings on appointment of Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh Jagdish Bhalla, whose promotion file was returned by former President APJ Abdul Kalam.
Chief Justice Bhalla, who was earlier the acting Chief Justice of Chattisgarh, was facing allegations of misconduct during his tenure in the Allahabad High Court.
In 2006, he was recommended to be elevated as the Chief Justice of Kerala. But the move ran into controversy after then President A P J Abdul Kalam raised an objection.
After his objections, apex court collegium headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan shifted him to Chattisgarh High Court as a judge. Later, he became the acting Chief Justice of that High Court.