The Supreme Court on Monday filed an appeal before itself challenging the judgement of the Delhi High Court holding that the office of the Chief Justice of India came under the ambit of the RTI Act and was liable to reveal information under it.
The petition, which has been filed after CJI K.G. Balakrishnan had consultation with his fellow judges, raised the point that information held by the CJI is sensitive in nature and its revelation would hamper the judiciary’s independence.
The petition, though drafted more than a month ago, was filed on Monday by advocate Devdutt Kamat on behalf of the Supreme Court registry and the case would be argued by the Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati.
The Supreme Court will be seeking immediate stay on the High Court rulings otherwise it would be under obligation to reveal information under RTI Act.
In a path-breaking verdict, the Delhi High Court had on January 12 held that the office of the Chief Justice of India comes under the purview of the RTI Act and rejected a Supreme Court appeal, saying judicial independence is not a judge’s personal privilege but a responsibility cast upon him.
The verdict was being seen as a setback to Justice Balakrishnan who has consistently been maintaining that his office does not come under the transparency law and hence cannot part with information like disclosure of judges’ assets under it.