Supreme Court has refused to share with the public anything but the operative portion of the report which was submitted by a three-judge committee to the Chief Justice of India over a former intern’s allegations against Justice (retd) AK Ganguly. Responding to an RTI petition by Lucknow-based activist Urvashi Sharma, the apex court said that the proceedings of the committee were part of an “in-house procedure” which cannot be made public.
“The disclosure of information and reports emanating out of a self-evolved mechanism which is in the nature of an In-House Procedure by the judiciary is expressly prohibited,” SC said. While refusing to provide the report of the three-judge committee, SC cited Section 8(1)(b) of RTI Act which prohibits disclosure of any information whose publication has been expressly forbidden by a court of law or tribunal or the sharing of which may constitute contempt of court.
“I write to inform you that the operative portion of the report submitted by the committee of honourable judges is available on the Supreme Court website…,” Smita Vats Sharma, Additional Registrar and the CPIO of Supreme Court, said in the RTI reply.
The committee comprising justices RM Lodha, HL Dattu and Ranjana Prakash Desai was constituted by CJI P Sathasivam after media reports emerged in November last year that “a recently-retired judge” had misbehaved with a law intern.