Registrar of Supreme Court directed to disclose notes and orders relating to framing of the Supreme Court Rules

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Central Information Commission (CIC): “The note/notings/deliberations relating to framing of Rules cannot be termed as assistance given in the confidence for law enforcement,” noted CIC while directing the Registrar of Supreme Court of India to provide notes and orders relating to framing of the Supreme Court Rules to an RTI applicant. However, the Commission asked the Registrar to provide the information after removing the date of the noting, name and designation of the person recording the noting and any other indication that reveal the identity of author of the noting. Earlier, CPIO of the office of Registrar, Supreme Court denied to disclose information to the RTI applicant, on the ground that notes and orders relating to framing of the Supreme Court Rules pertains to the deliberations made in the Full Court Meeting and the disclosures of the same would render the system unworkable in practice and hence exempted under Section 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act, 2005. It was further contended that the primary role of the Court is dispensation of justice and the deliberations made in the full Court meeting for framing the Rules is in the form of assistance given in confidence for law enforcement and thus exempted from disclosure. After hearing the parties and perusing the material on record, CIC observed that the information sought “is not covered under section 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act as ‘assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes’.” CIC further noted that “The framing of Rules is a legislative function and it is neither a judicial function nor it has any concern with any security measures. The note/notings/deliberations relating to framing of Rules cannot be termed as assistance given in the confidence for law enforcement. This can relate to payment for informers by police, IB and CBI etc.” While disposing of the appeal in favor of the applicant, Commission directed the Registry to provide information to the applicant. [Satya Narain Shukla v. Registrar, Supreme Court of India, 2016 SCC OnLine CIC 9516, decided on August 3, 2016]

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