JUSTICE CORPS

Action group for judicial transparency, justice reforms and human rights.

SC must acknowledge RTI

Posted by justicecorps on January 10, 2007

We condemn the Supreme Courts attitude toward the Right to Information Act,2005. The SC must acknowledge the importance of RTI in a vibrant functioning democracy like India and imbibe the values that it deems to uphold.

An open letter

 

JUSTICE CORPS

(Action group for Judicial Transparency, Justice Reforms and Human Rights)

C/o Add: 28 Sunrise (552), Samta Nagar, Kandivali (East), Mumbai 400 101

Mob: 9869 828 619. Email: justicecorps@gmail.com


“Nothing rankles more in the human heart than a brooding sense of injustice. Illness we can put up with, but injustice makes us want to pull things down”.

– Justice Brenan

 


To

The Chief Justice and all Judges, January 10, 2007.
Supreme Court of
India
New Delhi.

Subject: Supreme Court should not adopt double standards – on one hand passing numerous judgments upholding citizens’ right to information and on the other hand shying away from the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Dear Sirs,

We learn through media reports that the Supreme Court is not receptive to the Right to Information Act and the SC wants to be exempted from the RTI Act for any information which, in the opinion of the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, may “adversely affect or interfere or tend to interfere with the independence of the judiciary or administration of justice”. In addition, the SC has recommended that a decision by the CJI under the Act should not be subjected to further appeal before the CIC.

We are of the opinion that the above hostility towards the RTI Act of the Supreme Court amounts to double standards adopted by the SC, of late. In the past on numerous occasions, the SC has delivered many landmark judgments upholding citizens’ right to information and has even stated that the right to life as enshrined in Article 21 includes the right to information.

We therefore condemn this irresponsible attitude of the Supreme Court towards the Right to Information Act. We want to remind the judges that they are not Lords provided with any special exemptions. They are public servants meant to serve the public and are very much accountable to the people. In fact they owe much more accountability to the people because at least corrupt, derelict, inefficient, uncouth politicians can be thrown out by the people every five years during election time, but corrupt, derelict, inefficient, uncouth public servants like IAS, IPS, and Judges rule over the public for more than 25-30 years.

The judiciary must know that it too is being watched by the public and it too is accountable to the public, being one major pillar of democracy. Like bureaucrats who wanted to escape file notings, if the courts prefer to escape the Right to Information Act, then all the judgments of various HCs and the SC on right to information will be nothing but mere pontifications.

The present Chief Justice of India, Mr. Y. K Sabharwal and the incoming Chief Justice of India, Mr. K. G Balakrishnan, both have been supporters of the Right to Information Act. Mr. Sabharwal, in fact delivered a full speech on impact of the Right to Information Act on Administrative efficiency, Public Accountability and Constitutional Governance, in December 2005. Therefore, the present stand by the SC vis-à-vis RTI Act smacks of inconsistency and sends a wrong message to other Govt. institutions. For example, the UPSC and CBI and Delhi Metro too, for specious reasons want themselves out of the ambit of RTI. At this rate the good law itself will be defeated and it will be status quo ante deluvian.

The Right to Information Act is a tool to ensure transparency in every public functionary. Mere transparency in the functioning of the judiciary cannot compromise its independence and the SC should not feel insecure about it.

Stated frankly and Pro Bono Publico

 

Ronald Rebello Sanket Kashid Ganesh Sodaye Hemant Morajkar

Founder Co-Founder Member Member

9869 828 619 98699 46890 24032751 9819 4121 33

 

 

Copies to:

Minister of Law and Justice, Govt. of India

Dept. of Public Grievances, Govt. of India

Central Information Commission, New Delhi

All High Courts

University Professors and Students

Print and Electronic Media

 

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2 Responses to “SC must acknowledge RTI”

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