The Supreme Court went through another historic verdict as the apex court decides that the office of the CJI falls under the ambit of RTI. A 250 page long verdict documented by Justice Sanjiv Khanna stated that majority opinion of the bench held this view. Justice NV Ramana and Justice DY Chandrachud gave separate but concurring opinions.
On 13/11/2019, the apex court bench consisting of CJ Ranjan Gogoi, Justice NV Ramana, DR. DY Chandrachud, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna decided that the RTI could now probe into the office of the Chief Justice of India. The majority verdict as penned by Justice Sanjiv Khanna states that “Judicial Independence and accountability go hand in hand as accountability ensures, and is a facet of Judicial Independence.”
Section 8(1)(j) and Section 11 refers to the invasion of the right to privacy of an individual. The aforementioned sections also deal with the instances that could cause unwarranted invasion of privacy and the disclosure of such sensitive information might cause large public unrest. The Court sought to realize the scope of the Sections, saying “the scope of “information” under Section 1 is much broader than that of the clause (j) to Section 8 (1), as it could include information that is personal as well as information that concerns the government and its working.”
Whether information can be classified private or not is based on
The disclosure of information obtained through such methods, whether publicly disclosable depends on
Justice NV Ramana held that “Right to Information should not be allowed to be used as a tool of surveillance to scuttle effective functioning of judiciary.”
Justice Chandarchud held that “To use judicial independence as a plea to refuse accountability is fallacious. Independence is secured by accountability. Transparency and scrutiny are instruments to secure accountability.”