'SC stand on judges' assets may harm RTI Act' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'SC stand on judges' assets may harm RTI Act'

delhi Updated: Jan 25, 2009 11:16 IST

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In the backdrop of a legal tussle over disclosure of assets by judges, the head of a parliamentary panel has hinted that the apex court registry's move to challenge in High Court a CIC order on the issue may have a serious impact on the Right to Information Act.

"The RTI Act is the second independence movement for the people in practising democracy. Hence, the Supreme Court registry may use its wisdom to save the RTI Act by not pressing the writ petition before the High Court," EMS Natchiappan, chairman of the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievance and Law and Justice that deals with implementation of RTI told PTI on Saturday.

The RTI Act is like a small baby, we all have to preserve the baby," he said, favouring a rethink on pursuing the matter in the HC.

The High Court had on January 19 stayed an order passed by the Central Information Commission asking the Supreme Court's information officer to give information to an RTI applicant on whether judges of the apex court have declared their assets to the CJI.

On a petition filed by the information officer of Supreme Court challenging the January 6 order passed by CIC, Justice S Ravindra Bhat fixed February 12 as the next date of hearing of the matter.

Noted jurist Fali S Nariman who was asked to assist the court as amicus curiae (friend of court) refused to take up the responsibility.

In the petition, the Supreme Court said that information relating to declaration of assets by the apex court judges to the CJI was not a mandatory exercise under the law.