Observing that democracy expects openness and transparency, the Delhi High Court today hailed the Right to Information Act as "the most significant event of Indian Democracy".
"After almost 55 years since the coming into force of the Constitution of India, a national law providing for the right to information was passed by both Houses of Parliament on 12/13th May, 2005. It is undoubtedly the most significant event in the life of Indian Democracy," a full bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah said, while holding that the office of CJI comes within the ambit of the transparency law.
"Democracy expects openness and openness is concomitant of free society. Sunlight is the best disinfectant," the court said.
Giving a wider interpretation to the law, the Court said that right to information was part of fundamental rights enshrined in Articles 14 (right to equality), 19(1)(a)(freedom of speech) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.
"In construing such a statute, the Court ought to give to it the widest operation which its language will permit. The Court will also not readily read words which are not there and introduction of which will restrict the rights of citizens for whose benefit the statute is intended," it said.