Information regarding setting up of benches of the Supreme Court outside Delhi is exempted under RTI Act

Central Information Commission (CIC): CIC has held that disclosure of information regarding the meetings of the Court relating to the setting up of benches of the Supreme Court outside Delhi is exempt under Section 8(1); (a) of the RTI Act. Court was hearing an appeal filed by a person who sought information about the copies of minutes of the meeting of the full court of the Supreme Court, the file notings and letters sent by the Chief Justice of India to the Parliamentary Standing Committee relating to the setting up of benches of the Supreme Court outside Delhi. Disclosure of the said information was denied by Supreme Court on the ground that the resolutions of the full court meetings of the Supreme Court are based on opinions expressed confidentially by the Judges in the course of discussions, hence, are confidential and that divulging the same would make the system unworkable in practice. The applicant contended that the comments or views expressed during the full court meetings are not personal and are part of the decision making process in a matter and mere confidentiality is not a ground to claim exemption. He further submitted that in the interest of democracy and transparency, the minutes of the various committees of the Supreme Court cannot be withheld. In its defense, Supreme Court stated that the said information cannot be divulged under Section 8(1); (a) of the Act as the issue relating to the setting up of benches of the Supreme Court outside Delhi is a sensitive issue and its disclosure would lead to politicization of the matter. It was also stated that the disclosure will not be in the interest of the efficient functioning of the Supreme Court and would also compromise the internal security interest of the country due to potential law and order problems. After hearing both the parties, CIC rejected the appeal and noted, “We find force in the arguments of the respondent that the information sought, if disclosed at this stage, could lead to needless controversy of a political nature, which should best be avoided taking into account the need for efficient functioning of the Supreme Court. It is felt that the disclosure of this sensitive information could arouse regional feelings leading to law and order problems. Hence, this case falls under Section 8(1); (a) of the Act.”(Rajiv Rufus v. Smita Vats Sharma2014 SCC OnLine CIC 4527, decided on October 31, 2014)

2 comments

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    Plz give some other information about All Assam High School teacher association case regarding headmaster selection in provincialised High Schools of Assam .Thanks once again.

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    Thanx 4 valuable information.

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