New Delhi: The Supreme court today had ruled that the Office of Chief justice of India is a public authority and falls under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
The top Court, however, said transparency cannot be allowed to run counter to the right to privacy as confidentiality is an important aspect and has to be balanced while taking a decision on giving out information from the CJI’s office, TOI reports.
The five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi besides Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna has passed the judgment on an appeal filed by the Supreme Court administration.
The appeal challenged the 2010 order of the Delhi high court which had previously held that the CJI’s office comes under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
Opposing the plea of SC administration, advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agarwal, had argued that courts had time and again given a slew of directions to infuse transparency in the functioning of various institutions by directing them to reveal information and questioned why the judiciary was shying away from introducing transparency in its own functioning.
The bench noted the argument and said that there should be transparency, but added there was a need to do balancing.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, representing the Supreme Court’s secretary general, had opposed disclosure of information under RTI on collegium’s deliberations.