Give arguments regarding the issue of bringing judiciary under the ambit of RTI.
The right to information act requires public authorities to provide requested information in a timeframe of 30 days. There have been demands for bringing judiciary too under the ambit of RTI.
Merits of bringing judiciary under RTI:
- Transparency – the opacity plaguing the deliberations of the collegium can be reduced.
- The assets of judges will be known publicly, helping check for ethical lapses.
- It will uphold the ‘right to know’ of citizens.
- It supports the principle that no institution can be exempt from transparency requirements.
- Details of various special and empowered committees set up by the Supreme Court will be made public.
- Safety – there will be clarity regarding number of sexual harassment complaints received and entertained under in-house procedure.
- Judicial independence may be threatened severely.
- The collegium may not be able to function properly, with members reluctant to openly express their opinion.
- Any prospective Judge, against whom the collegium has made an adverse remark, will find his reputation ruined if collegium deliberations are made public under RTI.
- Frivolous RTI applications may be filed to pester the judiciary.
The Supreme Court must take a progressive view on the issue of RTI applicability.