Free Press Journal

HC stays its order to SC registry on data on cases reserved


Supreme CourtSupreme Court

New Delhi:  Delhi High Court today stayed a single judge’s order directing Supreme Court registry to provide information to an RTI activist regarding cases whose judgements have been pending after being reserved.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also issued notice to RTI activist Commodore (retd) Lokesh K Batra, the apex court’s Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) and the Appellate Authority, under the transparency law as they have been made parties in the appeal filed by the apex court registry.

The high court sought their responses by February 12, till when its single judge order of December 4 last shall remain stayed.

Apart from directing the apex court’s CPIO to give the data sought by Batra, the December 4 order had also held as “unsustainable” the stand of the registry that since the data asked for was not maintained in the manner as was sought, it was not under any obligation to provide the same.

The Supreme Court registry in its appeal, settled by senior advocate A S Chandhiok and advocate Ritesh Kumar, has said that “information with respect to each and every judgement reserved is available in public domain, case wise”.

“Similarly, where a judgement or order is pronounced, same is also placed in public domain. Therefore, it is not a case of non-availability of information,” the petition said.

It said the information sought by Batra “may not be in a form or manner in which respondent wants it”.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who appeared for Batra, opposed the contentions of the apex court registry and supported the December 4 judgement of the high court.

The High Court in its judgement had also upheld the August 4, 2011 order of the Central Information Commission (CIC) directing CPIO of the apex court to provide the information sought.

The CIC order has also been challenged by the registry.