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India
07 Jul 2017

In a first, SC wants CJI, governors under RTI ambit

CJI, governors' offices may come under RTI ambit

The SC for the first time batted for bringing the offices of the chief justice and governors within the purview of the Right to Information Act to ensure transparency and accountability.

This is significant as the SC has several times refused to furnish information under the RTI, despite the Central Information Commission and some high courts declaring the CJI's office as public authority.

In context

CJI, governors' offices may come under RTI ambit
What was the petition about?

Petition

What was the petition about?

The observation came on a petition challenging a Bombay HC order which deemed governors' office as public authority, and directed the Goa Raj Bhawan to make public the report sent by the governor's office to the President on the political situation in the state in July-August 2007.

Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar argued such cases should be exempted from RTI as they discharge sovereign functions.

U-turn

Earlier, SC had challenged Delhi HC's orders to reveal information

Disagreeing with Kumar, the SC asked, "What is there to hide? There is no secretive business of the CJI. Why governor and CJI should not be brought under RTI?"

In 2009, the Delhi HC had declared the CJI's office as public authority, asking the SC to make asset details of its judges public.

The verdict had been challenged by the SC. The case is still pending.

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