M A I N   N E W S

CJI office comes under RTI: HC
Delhi High Court judges to make assets public
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, January 12
Observing that democracy expected openness, the Delhi High Court in a landmark verdict today ruled that the office of the Chief Justice of India was a public office and covered by the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Also, the HC decided to place information pertaining to assets of its judges on its official website.

A three-member Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah, held that judges of the superior courts should make public their assets as they were not “less accountable” than the judicial officers of the lower courts who were bound by service rules to do so.

Ruling that “corruption in judiciary was far more deplorable” than in other organs of the state (executive and legislature), the HC held: “A judicial scandal has always been regarded as far more deplorable than a scandal involving either the executive or a member of the legislature… A judge must keep himself absolutely above suspicion; to preserve the impartiality and independence of the judiciary and to have the public confidence thereof.”

The public had “right to information under Section 2(j) of the Act in respect of the information regarding making of declarations by the Judges of the Supreme Court pursuant to the 1997 Resolution” by the apex court, the Bench, which included Justices Vikramjit Sen and S Muralidhar, said.

The verdict has come on an appeal by the Supreme Court, which had challenged the order of a single Judge of the HC on September 2 last. The Judge had held that the CJI came under the purview of the RTI Act. CJI KG Balakrishnan has consistently maintained that his office did not come under the transparency law.

The HC Bench, however, has given liberty to the SC to appeal against its verdict in the apex court. Meanwhile, the HC also decided to place information pertaining to assets of its judges on its official website.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |