Right2Information

Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Process of selecting judges need not be disclosed

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 2, 2006

Process of selecting judges need not be disclosed

Siddharth Narrain

Some processes are best conducted away from public

  • “Disclosing such information violates fiduciary relationship”
  • No information maintained on caste status of judges

    NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission has ruled that the process of selection of judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts need not be disclosed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

    The decision was taken on July 10 on an application filed on February 13, asking for the copy of “any one recommendation or consultation in the last 10 years” submitted to the President under Article 124 (2) of the Constitution. The provision deals with the appointment of Supreme Court and High Court Judges.

    “The information given by the Chief Justice to the President has been shielded from public gaze over all these years. Coming into force of the RTI Act has raised a question mark over the confidentiality of the process of consultation between the Supreme Court and the President. … Arguably there is merit in the contention that certain processes are best conducted away from the public gaze, for that is what contributes to sober analysis and mature reflection, unaffected by competing pressures and public scrutiny. If there is one process which needs to be so protected, the process of selecting judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court must qualify to be one such,” said Central Information Commissioner A.N. Tiwari.

    Exempted under RTI Act

    The Commission held that that the information collected by the Supreme Court to quip it to discharge its constitutionally ordained role of advising the President regarding who to appoint as judges was in the nature of “personal information provided by a third party” and exempted under Section 11 (1) of the RTI Act. Disclosing such information violated the fiduciary relationship as well as the confidence and trust between the candidates and the Supreme Court, and was exempted from disclosure by Section 8 (1) (e) of the RTI Act.

    Appellant Mukesh Kumar also asked for the number of judges belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The Commission held that since the public authority concerned was not required to maintain information regarding the caste status of judges, such information could not be supplied.

    “It was rightly pointed out during the hearing that judges may have objection to a caste census limited to the judges’ fraternity alone. Since no law provides for maintaining information regarding the caste status of the judges, inferentially it can be argued that it would have been objectionable even to maintain such information,” the Commission said.

  • One Response to “Process of selecting judges need not be disclosed”

    1. webs de anuncios gratis…

      […]Process of selecting judges need not be disclosed « Right2Information[…]…

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

     
    %d bloggers like this: