SC moves against transparency ruling | india | Hindustan Times
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SC moves against transparency ruling

The Supreme Court on Monday challenged before itself the Delhi High Court judgment bringing the Chief Justice of India’s (CJI) office under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, thereby binding it to furnish information on the personal assets of the top court’s judges. HT reports.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2010 07:49 IST
HT Correspondent

The Supreme Court on Monday challenged before itself the Delhi High Court judgment bringing the Chief Justice of India’s (CJI) office under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, thereby binding it to furnish information on the personal assets of the top court’s judges.

The appeal, moved by Attorney General GE Vahanvati and advocate Devdutt Kamat, said the judgment would “seriously impair the position of judges and the doctrine of independence of the judiciary” as the Constitution insulates the higher judiciary from any interference, pressure or scrutiny.

“Judges occupy a unique position and discharge unique functions in the constitutional scheme of things. It is imperative that the conduct of judges is not subject to ‘litigative public debate’,”it said.

Seeking to set aside the ruling, which has declared right to information a constitutional right, they said the Act was not an unfettered constitutional right but subject to restrictions.

The apex court, however, did not challenge the aspect of the CJI’s office coming under the RTI Act, as it had acceded to it before the high court.

The appeal sought to define “information” under the Act. It also stated that the Act can be invoked only in matters of information pertaining to the public affairs of a public authority; if the information is not in public domain, it cannot be disclosed.

Though SC judges have voluntarily declared their assets, the court sought to know if personal information given voluntarily can be shared in public.