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Thursday, January 14, 2010

CJI comes under RTI ambit, says Delhi HC bench, SC Will Appeal To Itself Now

Publication: Times Of India Delhi; Date: Jan 13, 2010; Section: Front Page; Page: 1

Abhinav Garg | TNN

New Delhi: In an unusual display of checks and balances within the judiciary, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected the contention of the Supreme Court that the office of the Chief Justice of India was beyond the ambit of the Right to Information Act.

A full bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice A P Shah, Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice S Muralidhar unanimously dispelled the fear raised by the apex court that the extension of RTI to the CJI’s office would undermine judicial independence.

Referring to a resolution adopted by Supreme Court judges in 1997, a resolution adopted by a conference of chief justices in 1999 and the UN-sponsored 2001 Bangalore principles of judicial conduct, the HC said, ‘‘Well defined and publicly known standards and procedures complement, rather than diminish, the notion of judicial independence.’’

Dismissing the Supreme Court’s appeal for the second time in four months, it said, ‘‘Higher the judiciary, higher the accountability.’’ SC will now file an appeal before itself.

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