Delhi High Court gives relief to Supreme Court in CIC case

The Delhi High Court has granted a stay on an order issued by the Chief Information Commissioner — the top RTI official — clarifying that a question under the RTI can ask for clarification on judgments.

The Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Shailesh Gandhi had issued the order to applicant RS Misra. Misra approached the CIC after the Supreme Court refused to answer his question on why his petition was dismissed and whether in deciding the appeal, the bench followed the principles of natural justice.

On the contrary, the CIC directed the Supreme Court answer Misra’s question by June 5, prompting the Supreme Court to appeal against the judgement at the Delhi High Court.

In its appeal, the Supreme Court claimed that all the logic and reason for passing a particular order or judgment was already given in that order or judgment and there was nothing more to add to what it has already said in the judgement — a point that seems to have made to the Delhi High Court Justice S Muralidhar.

A ‘normal’ order or judgement usually contains pages and pages of reasoning and logic explaining why the Court reached the verdict that it did.

The SC also said the CIC order was beyond law and jurisdiction of the RTI (Right to Information) Act, the SC in its appeal through advocate Devadatt Kamat.

“Can RTI be made a tool to seek copy or information about confidential reports sought by Supreme Court benches from investigating agencies and governments on sensitive issues,” the SC asked in its appeal.