The Supreme Court will Wednesday pronounce verdict on its own appeal against a Delhi High Court judgment, which had held that the institution and the Chief Justice of India (CJI) came under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The judgment, to be pronounced by a five-member bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice NV Ramana, Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Deepak Gupta, is expected around 2 pm.
The Delhi High Court verdict had come a decade ago in 2009, saying the CJI office and the SC are liable to disclose information just like other public authorities under the RTI Act.
The HC was hearing a plea by activist Subhash Chandra Aggarwal, who had in 2007 filed an RTI query seeking details of judges’ assets. When the information was denied, he approached the Central Information Commission (CIC), which ordered that the information be supplied. This was challenged in the Delhi HC, which upheld the order.
In 2010, Secretary General of the Supreme Court and the Central Public Information officer of the apex court went to SC against the High Court order. In April this year, the SC bench had reserved its order, which is now to be pronounced tomorrow.
Including the CJI and the SC under the RTI ambit has been opposed on the grounds that it will compromise their independence and will be “deleterious to functioning” of the judiciary.