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curb rti ambit in judiciary - cji to pm

Legal Manager

Curb RTI Ambit In Judiciary - CJI TO PM

 

NEW DELHI: Rattled by a spate of Central Information Commission (CIC) orders asking the judiciary to divulge details on sensitive issues like appointment of judges, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his help in exempting matters relating to administration of justice from the purview of RTI Act.

The letter highlights the process of judicial appointment in India on the basis of a Supreme Court judgment and pointed out that under the prevailing process, the meeting of the collegium seldom put in writing its views on persons who were rejected from being appointed as judges of high courts or the Supreme Court.

There were other sensitive matters relating to administration of justice, which if divulged could create division within the judiciary and ultimately tell upon its independence, the letter said.

Highly placed sources said the PM shared the CJI's concern and forwarded the letter to the law ministry for appropriate action.

The CJI wrote to the PM that secrecy around the selection process of judges was not unique to India. In US, he argued, information about selection of judges could only be given to the public after 15 years of the event and in Australia, it was completely exempted from the purview of the right to information of public.

Meanwhile, at the Law Day function organised in the Supreme Court, Justice Balakrishnan said the judiciary had no objections to Parliament effecting laws to change the present collegium process of appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

Responding to SC Bar Association president M N Krishnamani's charge that India was the only country where judges appointed judges and that the selection process for judges to HCs and SC needed to be broad-based, the CJI said judiciary was following the system put in place by a constitution Bench of the apex court and that he was bound by it.

"We are not opposed to any change in the appointment process. Let Parliament decide a fresh process and if it is good for the country, we will be happy to follow the new system. Let us not blindly follow the selection process prevalent in other countries. We can have our own system," Justice Balakrishnan said.

However, he said it would be difficult in the present circumstances to allow video recording of proceedings in the Supreme Court.

 

 
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Retired

 My suggestion.

Repeal RTI Act. It is increasingly getting embarrassing for the government and judiciary. Skeletons are rolling out.


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Advocate

I thought that we have achieved great things by legislating RTI, but now its shocking why our CJI wants to curbed RTI. What RTI has done to the judiciary? I think something is wroung with Judiciary.


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Retired

 We the people of India........

A survey of retail crime and loss in the world says India has the highest retail shrinkage at 3.2% in the world. Retail shrinkage is the loss of

 
 
 
 
 
     
 
 
       

products due to shoplifting, employee theft, paperwork errors and supplier fraud. The country’s retailers complain that the main causes for the US $2.6 billion loss are shoplifting and employee theft.

 
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Retired

 Great news. Greater judiciary. Functional democracy. Rule of law.

An appeal from the Supreme Court to itself may sound odd but its unease with CIC's orders had pushed the apex court to exercise the unusual option. The SC had moved the SC on Monday over the issue. 

 
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dear members

it is really unfortunate for the CJI to take this view and write to the PM. In a democracy, all are equal and the RTI act is the only weapon in the hands of citizen to atleast know the illegal activities of the bureaucracy. 

the selection procedure for judges is totally flawed at the moment. when you have a lengthy procedure for appointment of even chowkidhars, there is absolutely no proper procedure for appointment of higher judicial officers. for lower judiciary, the public service commissions and high courts are there.  a national judicial commission is a must. the collegium of the supreme court alone cannot and should not take such important decisions themselves. and the cloak of secrecy should go. there should be proper laid down norms for elevating people to such higher judicial posts.  there is a constitutional provision to appoint anybody who is a distinguished jurist as a high court or supreme court judge. such redundant provisions should be removed. 

i strongly oppose any move to amend the RTI act. if at all, it should be further strengthened with more stringent provisions if information is refused. at present, the act says that if information is not furnished within the 30 days time, the application is deemed to be refused. this provision must go. 

of course, if RTI act is to be really successful, all public offices should  be computerised and networked and all records should be digitised. the govt. should recruit separate staff for doing the RTI work. otherwise, the whole act would be ineffective.      

 
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Retired

 They are more equal than others.

 
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LAWYER HUBLI,KARNATAKA

I agree with shri. Lakshminarayanan's view.

 
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Retired

 Started getting jittery and scared?

 
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cji should understand that law is above all not judiciary.

 
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