The Supreme Court may have challenged the Central Information Commissions order that courts,like all public bodies,should make information about the judges (read their assets) available under the Right to Information (RTI) Act,but there is learnt to be a difference of opinion in the court.
Insiders said that some judges are willing to furnish details of their assets. And to take a fresh look at the matter pending before the Delhi High Court which stayed the CIC order it is learnt that a meeting of all SC judges might be called soon. The rising public opinion against the judiciary for challenging the CIC order is seen as one reason behind a possible rethink. The case comes up for hearing on February 12.
The CIC asked for the apex court to disclose if information about assets of Supreme Court and High Court Judges was being declared at all by the judges. The SC challenged the order in the Delhi HC arguing that information relating to declaration of assets by SC judges to the CJI is not mandatory under the law. However,a 1997 full court resolution of SC required every judge to declare to the CJI their assets,including those of their spouse, dependents.
After eminent jurist Fali Nariman,who was asked by the court to be the amicus (friend of the court) in the matter,politely refused saying his views were contrary to those of the apex court,Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee,too,criticised the judiciarys stand on the issue.