The Supreme Court Thursday reserved its verdict on three appeals filed by its own registry that challenged a Delhi High Court order which stated that Supreme Court and the office of Chief Justice of India constitute to be a public authority under the Right to Information Act.
The Delhi High Court had ruled that the CJI office and the apex court are liable to disclose information as in case of other public authorities under the purview of the Right to Information Act.
A five-judge Constitution bench with Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi at the helm was hearing the appeals filed in 2010 by Secretary General of the Supreme Court and the Central Public Information officer of the apex court against the Delhi High Court order holding that the CJI’s office comes under the ambit of the RTI Act.
Disclosures of confidential information like the discussions amongst the collegium in the appointment or promotion of judges under the transparency law would be “deleterious to functioning” of the judiciary, the apex court was informed by its registry on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court is hearing the case roughly a decade after Delhi High Court ruled in the favour of an RTI activist who sought to know the details of the personal assets of the judges. Subsequently, the Supreme Court had rejected the activist’s request following which the activist went to the Central Information Commission (CIC), which directed the SC registry to furnish information. The apex court’s registry challenged the CIC’s order before the Delhi High Court, which ruled in the favour of the activist.