Supreme Court (SC) registry can no longer avoid parting with information about petitions filed, saying it does not come under the purview of RTI Act. The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that the parties involved in the case/s can seek information related to their case/s under RTI Act.
When T Jhansi Lakshmi’s special leave petition was not listed for hearing even after more than 75 days, she filed an RTI query with the SC registry.
She sought to know from the Public Information Officer (PIO) the genuine reason as to why her SLP was not listed. However, both the PIO and the Appellate Authority (AA) denied it, stating that the inspection or search of judicial records can be undertaken only by following prescribed rules and orders of the apex court and not under RTI.
When chief information commissioner Satyananda Mishra upheld the right to demand information about a petition under Act, the registry’s PIO and the AA pointed out that she was not a party to the litigation, instead her husband was.
The decision has come as a ray of hope for several RTI applicants filing queries with the SC registry as most of them have faced similar situation.