Activists welcome RTI judgement by SC

Supreme Court of India.

Activists on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court's judgement bringing the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) under the ambit of the RTI Act, saying the apex court has reiterated the established position in law in the matter.

Welcoming the decision, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative's (CHRI) Venkatesh Nayak said that he welcomed the court decision to reiterate the established position in law that the CJI is a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Asked about the Supreme Court's observation that RTI should not be allowed to be used as a tool of surveillance to scuttle the effective functioning of the judiciary, Naik said that it was an unfortunate observation.

He said that transparency should not be equated with surveillance.

"People whose cases relating to their life, liberty, property, and rights are decided by the high courts and the Supreme Court. People have the right to know not only the criteria but all materials that formed the basis of making the decision regarding appointments of judges in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act," he said.

Anjali Bharadwaj of NCPRI described the verdict as "landmark". 

Former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said that he had expected the same decision to come as logically there is nothing else.

"It is unfortunate that it has taken 10 years. All public servants that are paid by the government is a public service, no matter what the position is? You need to be accountable for your work. I congratulate the Chief Justice and the court for having given such a decision," he said.

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