Supreme Court ruling brings CJI under RTI Act

Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi rejected the contention of the Supreme Court that had challenged a Delhi High Court judgment bringing it under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

After receiving two setbacks in the Delhi High Court in 2009 and 2010 over an order by the Central Information Commission (CIC), the Supreme Court had approached itself seeking relief in the RTI case.

The Supreme Court bench also included Justices NV Ramana, DY Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, who decided the matter against the institution.

The RTI case against the Supreme Court lies in a petition by activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, who in 2007 sought “copy of the resolution dated 7.5.1997 of the Full Court of the Supreme Court, (“the 1997 resolution”) which requires every judge to make a declaration of all assets”.

Back then, declaration of assets by the Supreme Court was made to the Chief Justice of India and was not even voluntary in nature to put it out in public domain.

The Supreme Court refused to share the asset declaration resolution. Agrawal moved the CIC, which ruled that the office of the Chief Justice of India falls under the ambit of the RTI Act and the Supreme Court cannot deny information sought under the RTI Act.

After toggling the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court today’s ruling upheld that the CJI’s office comes under the RTI Act, therefore any ordinary citizen can seek information regarding assets of the judges and also the reason for their appointment.