The Supreme Court has said it has no information about the Union minister, who allegedly approached a Madras High Court Judge to influence his decision in an anticipatory bail case.
The Supreme Court registry also did not exercise section 6 (3) of the RTI Act wherein a public authority needs to transfer the application to the appropriate office, if the asked information was not in its possession.
“Information sought by you is not handled and dealt with by the Registry of the Supreme Court of India,” the reply of the Central Public Information Officer Raj Pal Arora said.
RTI applicant Subhash Chandra Agrawal had sought the details from the apex court about the Union Minister who allegedly approached Justice R Raghupathy of Madras High Court to influence his judicial decisions.
Mr. Agrawal quoted media reports claiming that Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan had said that Mr. Justice Raghupathy had written to Chief Justice of the Madras High Court that the Minister had not spoken to him directly.
Mr. Agrawal then filed the first appeal in the apex court and said that in a recent decision, Delhi High Court had clarified that office of Chief Justice of India comes under the RTI Act and if any details are held by it, his application should be transfered to it as per section 6 (3) the Act.
But his appeal was turned down by the First Appellate Authority at the apex court who refused to interfere in the reply given by the CPIO.
“Appellate Authority did put on record my submissions dated September 4, 2009 mentioning esteemed verdict in the matter ‘CPIO, Supreme Court vs Subhash Chandra Agrawal’ by Justice S Rabindra Bhatt at Delhi High Court,” he said.
He said that appellate authority did not pay heed to his arguments seeking transfer of his application to appropriate office which held the information, as mentioned by him in his RTI application and first appeal.
“File-notings also reveal that CPIO’s reply was also endorsed by first Appellate Authority at Supreme Court registry while general principle is that an appellate authority should not be a part of decision-making process,” the activist said.
Mr. Agrawal, who won the landmark case against the Supreme Court in the Delhi High Court which brought the Chief Justice of India under the ambit of RTI Act, had asked if the letter of Mr. Justice Raghupathy, quoted in the media reports, carried name of the minister.
He had also asked about steps taken against the referred minister and the advocate involved in the alleged incident.