Asia & Australia

November 22, 2017

Judicial functions of SC not covered under RTI: Delhi HC


Hearing a petition, the Delhi High Court recently ruled that there is no inconsistency in the Supreme Court Rules (SCR) and the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The information under the SCR, which includes right of inspection and search of copies, are all judicial functions of the Supreme Court and thus, not covered under the RTI Act.

The court was hearing a petition moved by the Registrar, Supreme Court against the decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC) in 2011, passed in Appeal filed by R S Misra.

Misra had filed a petition against the suspension from the post of Postgraduate Teacher (Chemistry) in Kendriya Vidyalaya by the Commissioner of KVS, under Article 81(b) of the Education Code.

Justice Manmohan ruled that, “A Judge speaks through his judgments or orders passed by him. He cannot be expected to give reasons other than those that have been enumerated in the judgment or order. If any party feels aggrieved by the order/judgment passed by a Judge, the remedy available to such a party is to challenge the same by a legally permissible mode.”

“No litigant can be allowed to seek information through an RTI application or a letter on the administrative side as to why and for what reasons the Judge had come to a particular decision or conclusion. A Judge is not bound to explain later on for what reasons he had come to such a conclusion,” the court said.

The court also said that the judicial functioning of the Supreme Court of India is separate/ independent from its administrative functioning.

“The dissemination of information under SCR is a part of judicial function, exercise of which cannot be taken away by any statute. The SCR would be applicable with regard to the judicial functioning of the Supreme Court, whereas for the administrative functioning of the SC, the RTI Act would be applicable,” it added.

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