SC refuses disclosure of collegium discussions

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea seeking details of the collegium meeting, holding that only its final decision is made public and not its discussions.

FPJ BureauUpdated: Saturday, December 10, 2022, 01:39 AM IST
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Supreme Court of India | PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea seeking details of the collegium meeting, holding that only its final decision is made public and not its discussions.

A Bench of Justice M R Shah and C T Ravikumar rejected RTI activist Anjali Bharadwaj's plea challenging Delhi High Court's decision rejecting her petition which sought a copy of the agenda, discussions and the resolution passed by the collegium of the Supreme Court held on December 12, 2018.

The apex court clarified that whatever is discussed in the collegium meeting shall not be in the public domain and “only final decision required to be uploaded.” It said the consultations on that day were not concluded and therefore the meeting was adjourned without any decision.

The court said that only after the final resolution drawn and signed by the collegium, which is always after completing the due procedure and process of discussion, deliberation and consultation, is the same required to be published on the Supreme Court website.

Bhardwaj, who was represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan and Ria Yadav, challenged the order dated July 27 2022 of the Delhi High Court, which dismissed her plea for information under the Right to Information Act.

According to the petition, the resolution of the subsequent meeting affirms that there was indeed an agenda of the previous collegium meeting of December 12, 2018 and further that certain decisions were indeed taken and this was also affirmed through the public statements of Justice (Retd.) Madan Lokur and the statements made in the autobiography written by former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi (who were both members of the collegium) In such circumstances, it cannot be held that the information does not exist, the petitioner said.

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