The top court’s secretary-general and the CPIO had moved the apex court on the administrative side challenging November 24, 2009.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Wednesday its verdict on a plea opposing Central Information Commission’s (CIC) 2009 order directing the top court’s central public information officer (CPIO) to disclose information on the appointment of judges to the top court sought under the Right to Information Act.
The top court’s secretary-general and the CPIO had moved the apex court on the administrative side challenging November 24, 2009, Central Information Commission’s order directing the CPIO to furnish the information sought by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal on the appointment of judges to the top court.
The appeal by the top court’s secretary-general and the central public information officer was heard by five-judge constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna.
The constitution bench in the course of the hearing had addressed two questions “whether the concept of independence of judiciary demands the prohibition of furnishing of the information sought and whether the information sought amounts to interference in the functioning of the judiciary.
Other questions were “whether the information sought cannot be furnished to avoid any erosion in the credibility of the decisions and to ensure free and frank expression of honest opinion by all the constitutional functionaries.”
The hearing saw bench observing that the cap on the disclosure of information under the Right to Information Act, for protecting the judicial independence, has to be balanced with the larger public interest to know the factors weighing in the appointment of some as judges and others losing the race.
However, attorney general K.K.Venugopal appearing for the Central government had argued that disclosure of information on what transpired in the appointment or elevation of judges would have a bearing on judicial independence and free and frank deliberation in the collegium.