Monday, February 16, 2009

RTI on Appointment of Judges: A partial success

RTI applicant, D.K.Mishra has achieved partial success with regard to his application seeking information concerning the appointment of Judges in the Guwahati High Court from the CPIO of the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India. The Full Bench of the Central Information Commission has given its decision, directing the authorities to reveal the information to the applicant relating to the views expressed by the state of Nagaland, and the recommendation made by the Supreme Court Collegium to the Government of India. The CIC has held that opinion given by Justice Brijesh Kumar and Justice H.K.Sema, both Judges of the SC at the relevant time who were once the Chief Justice and acting Chief Justice respectively of the Guwahati High Court, may be considered to be information provided by third party in confidence; as such, before disclosing the same, it would be necessary on the part of the CPIO to hear them or take their views. The text of the CIC's decision is here.

RTI activist, Subhash Chandra Agrawal, who has achieved similar success with regard to his application seeking information on the appointment of Justices Vijender Jain as the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, says that the Department will most likely appeal against the CIC decision in the D.K.Mishra case in the Delhi High Court and obtain a stay, as it had done so in his case earlier. The next hearing of the appeal against CIC decision in Agrawal's case will be heard in Delhi High Court on Feb.25. The likely appeal against the CIC decision in the Mishra case may be heard together that day.
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