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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

HC has no pollution records of judges’ cars: RTI reply

Jatin Anand, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 30, 2014
First Published: 01:51 IST(30/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:53 IST(30/7/2014)

The Delhi High Court, it seems, does not maintain records of whether cars allotted to its chief justice or other judges of the court — including the protocol vehicles — have pollution-under -control (PUC) certificates, an RTI reply has found.

Ironically, the same court had earlier this year made it compulsory for all vehicles plying in the Capital to have pollution-under -control certification.

A Right to Information (RTI) application had sought information on whether vehicles allotted to Delhi High Court judges had PUC certificates. The court had made these certificates mandatory for the vehicular population of Delhi in a recent order. The RTI reply is, at best, evasive on the topic.

 “No such record is maintained in respect to cars allotted to the Hon’ble chief justice, Hon’ble judges of this Court, including the protocol vehicles,” the Public Information Officer (PIO-II) of the Delhi High Court, SP Singh, submitted in reply to an RTI query filed by Jagjit Walia, a government servant residing in Gurgaon on April 29.

 In late March this year, a bench of the Delhi High Court had directed the Delhi government and the Delhi Police to launch a campaign directed at ensuring that the Capital’s drivers got PUC certification for their respective vehicles in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) admitted in October 2013.

 “The transport department of the Delhi government had been asked ‘to chalk out a plan to ensure that all vehicles plying in Delhi have PUC certification. Due notice will be given to public through advertisements,” the bench had stated in its order on March 26.

“I had filed my application in late April and was furnished the reply only on July 16. The information provided in the reply is incomplete and I will file an appeal in the matter in the coming days,” Walia told HT.  “My RTI had sought details of all the vehicles registered with the Delhi High Court in addition to other details about these,” Walia said.

“But in the reply, the High Court refused to furnish these details, saying information regarding registration number, make and model of vehicles allotted to the chief justice, and other judges of this court including the protocol vehicles being used for extending courtesies cannot be furnished as it could adversely affect their safety and security in terms of Section 8 (1) (g) of the RTI Act,” Walia added.

“How can furnishing these details affect the security of judges considering these are registered under the name of the Delhi High Court instead of the judges?” Walia asked.

HT’s attempt to seek a comment from a senior Delhi High Court official was unsuccessful. “I’m currently not in a position to make a comment on the matter. I’m travelling,” the official said when reached for a comment.


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