The Delhi High Court ruled against the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday, maintaining the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) did not fall outside the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The verdict goes against CJI KG Balakrishnan’s recent view that his office was not covered by the information law, since it was "privy to highly privileged communication."
<b1>"The CJI is a public authority under the RTI Act. The CJI’s office is covered under the provisions of the Act,” Justice S Ravindra Bhat said.
He upheld the view that the chief justice was required to disclose information relating to the assets of SC judges that had been provided to him, rejecting the apex court’s argument that the details were ‘confidential’.
This is the first time that a high court has decided on a matter involving the Supreme Court. It followed an appeal filed by the SC against a Central Information Commission order on January 6 this year. The order directed the SC to provide information relating to judges’ assets, which the chief justice possessed. Justice Bhat dismissed the appeal.
The Supreme Court is likely to challenge the verdict.