New Delhi: The Centre on Tuesday opposed in the Delhi High Court the plea to bring the office of Attorney General (AG) under RTI ambit on various grounds including that the advice rendered by him to the state and its authorities is protected under the law.
"The Attorney General of India has a lawyer-client relationship with the Government and its instrumentalities and in any case, the advice rendered is protected under the law," Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Siddharth Luthra, appearing for the Ministry of Law and Justice, told Justice GS Sistani.
Besides this, the Attorney General also has a "fiduciary" (a relation of trust) with the government, the ASG said, adding that moreover, "there is no establishment attached with the office of the AG."
"In any case, we (law officers) do not maintain records of pieces of advice rendered," he said.
The court was hearing an appeal filed by Delhi-based RTI activist Subhash Chandra Aggarwal against a decision of the Central Information Commission (CIC) holding that the office of Attorney General is not amenable to the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Earlier, Pranav Sachdeva, appearing for Aggarwal, contended that the AG is appointed under Article 76 of the Constitution and hence, the office of AG is a public office and should be brought under the RTI Act.
Responding to a query of the court, he said, "the question that what information can be given (by AG) to an information seeker is different from the plea that the office be declared a public office under the RTI."
The court then asked the Centre and Aggarwal to file short written submissions in support of their pleas and fixed the matter for hearing on March 13.