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Positive outcome of Right-To-Information Act

It refers to Supreme Court deciding to set up a five-member bench to examine if a retired CJI-supervised Special Investigating Team (SIT) probe was required into allegations of middleman being in nexus with some judges of higher judiciary in a racket to fix judicial orders to enable admissions into medical colleges debarred from admitting students for lack of infrastructure. Order follows putting collegium-proceedings on appointment of judges on website. Some years back, In-house procedure to probe a sitting High Court Judge in Madhya Pradesh was invoked. All this is positive outcome of Right-To-Information Act implemented on October 12, 2005 when a series of CIC-verdicts, though till now stayed at Supreme Court and Delhi High Court, required transparency in administrative side of immunised judicial system with judicial side otherwise exempted from RTI Act. Even important public-authorities like including Prime Minister Office and Lok Sabha Secretariat too adopted perfect transparency while disclosing complaints against the then Chief Justice of India without even CIC-intervention. It is noteworthy that before RTI Act was implemented, only a cumbersome and totally ineffective system of impeachment of judges of higher judiciary by the Parliament was only procedure to act against judges against whom complaints were filed.

Chief Justice of India now sue-motto takes steps for final decision on long-pending stay-orders against CIC-verdicts which has been principally adopted in practice now. For example, there is no sense in withholding information on earlier cases of judicial appointments with similar cases being now made public through websites.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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