Can't use RTI to question judge's verdict: SC

Can't use RTI to question judge's verdict: SC

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said: “RTI Act cannot be used against a judge forcing him to explain a judgment.’’

“A judge speaks through his judgments and he is not answerable to anyone as to why he wrote a judgment in a particular manner. As the judge has given his views in the judgment, he cannot give any other reason for his judgment. No party has a right to ask the judge concerned through RTI about the judgment,” said the bench while dismissing a petition filed by Khanapuram Gandaiah, a litigant.

Gandiah had challenged the decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court that rejected his plea seeking reasons for the judicial order under the RTI Act.  Justice Balakrishnan said  such an application under the RTI, seeking information on the judicial order and judgements of the court would amount to contempt of court.

Gandaiah, through an RTI application, had asked a district judge to explain his order related to a land dispute. Gandaiah wanted to know why the judge did not consider his submissions and sought reasons and the basis for the order. After his application was rejected, he moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court against that order.

Gandaiah, a 76-year-old farmer from Andhra Pradesh had alleged “judicial dishonesty” against a Principal District Judge who had ordered injunction against him in a property dispute case.

He alleged that the district judge had arrived at the decision on the basis of “fabricated” documents produced before him. The high court had also dismissed the appeal on the same ground which had been challenged before the apex court.