SC full court to consider implication of HC judgement: CJI

Last Updated 13 January 2010, 13:08 IST

He, however, refused to make any further comment, saying that he was yet to read the judgement and had only read the reports appearing in the newspapers.

"I have not read the judgment. I have only read your valuable (news) reports," the chief justice said when asked whether the Supreme Court registry would challenge the high court's ruling before the apex court.
"It would be decided by a full court," the chief justice said, adding that even the last time (in September 2008) "the full court had decided to go in (for) an appeal" against the high court's Sep 2 judgment which ruled in favour of declaration of apex court judges' assets.
The chief Justice was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the farewell function organised at the apex court for Justice Tarun Chatterjee, who retires today.

In the path-breaking judgement, a three-judge Bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice A P Shah had held that the office of the CJI comes under the ambit of the RTI Act.
The apex court has decided to appeal against the judgement.

The verdict was a setback for Justice Balakrishnan, who has consistently maintained that the CJI cannot be brought under the ambit of the transparency law.
The larger Bench upheld the decision of the single Bench which had also held the apex court registry and CJI office cannot be said to be separate organs.
The High Court had rejected the contention of the apex court that bringing the CJI's office within the RTI Act would "hamper" judicial independence and said higher judiciary should not shy away from the transparency law.
"Judicial independence is not a privilege to a judge but a responsibility," the High Court said, adding that the CJI cannot be said to have fiduciary relation with his fellow judges.

The single-judge bench of the high court also had earlier ruled that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) is within the purview of the RTI Act, 2005.
The Supreme Court registry subsequently appealed against that judgment before a division bench of the high court. The division bench headed by Chief Justice A.P. Shah endorsed the single bench judgment.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday ruled that the office of the CJI comes within the ambit of the RTI law, and held that judicial independence is not a judge's privilege but a responsibility cast upon him.
The bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah, Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vikramjit Sen, upholding a single bench order, maintained that accountability of the judiciary cannot be seen in isolation.

(Published 13 January 2010, 12:21 IST)

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