Saturday, January 16, 2010

Whether RTI should be applicable to CJI?

Whether Right To Information is applicable to Chief Justice of India is a substantial question of law and will be finally decided by the Supreme Court. The High Court itself had granted a certificate of appeal to the Supreme Court as substantial questions of law being involved in the case. A Full Court of the Supreme Court will take the final decision on whether or not to prefer an appeal.

As we know that Certain issues dealt with by the Supreme Court collegiums on appointment of judges, personal opinions given by judges, and response to complaints against judges could not be revealed. Covering the said matters under RTI will hamper the independence of judiciary which is right now one of the basic structures of the constitution. We should not forget that there are various constitutional obligations where strict confidentiality is must for proper governance.

During the appointment of Supreme Court and High Court judges' members of the collegiums gives their free and frank opinion. If these opinions will be disclosed to public then no judge will provide free and frank opinion that will further effect the appointment of good judges.

There are also certain matters with respect to not only Judiciary but also President and the Prime Ministers office dealing with various sensitive issues day in and day out and there was a constitutional mandate and fiduciary principle that these must be kept confidential. So the independence of the judiciary should not be compromised by exposing every aspect of the work of the courts to the public.

Dr.Tabrez Ahmad,
Associate Professor of Law,
KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, India,
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