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Chief Justice of India office comes under RTI Act as per SC’s judgment

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On November 13, 2019, the Supreme Court(SC) announced office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) as a public authority under the transparency law, the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005. The judgement in this regard was made by a 5 judge constitution bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi.
RTI Act SCVerdict in brief: 

  • The verdict also mentioned that protection must be provided to the judges under the confidentiality clause.
  • Judicial independence will be maintained while dealing with transparency. Hence, only the names of judges recommended by the Collegium will be disclosed, not the reasons.

Key Points:

i.Members of the bench: Other members of the bench apart from Ranjan Gogoi were Justices Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.

ii.Verdict background: 

  • The CIC (Central Information Commission) ordered the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) to provide information regarding the possession of assets by the Judges of SC.
  • The order was challenged in Delhi High Court(HC) where the judgement was given that SC and CJI have statutory duty to furnish information regarding administration and functioning of the SC.
  • Later appeals were filed to the supreme court in 2010 on the HC verdict in this regard. Despite appeal was filed in 2010, the judgment was announced only after 9 years, i.e, in 2019.

RTI:

  • RTI: Right to Information (RTI) is an act of the Parliament of India to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens and replaces the erstwhile Freedom of Information Act, 2002.
  • RTI act enforcement: The law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into force on 12 October 2005.
  • Chief architect: Indian political and social activist Aruna Roy is considered as the chief architect of the implementation of the RTI act.

About Supreme Court:
Established-1 October 1937.
Location- New Delhi.
Motto- Yato Dharmastato Jayaḥ (Where there is righteousness, there is victory).
Next CJI: SA Bobde has been appointed as the next/47th CJI with effect from November 18, 2019.