CJI`s advice on Nirmal Yadav`s transfer confidential: Law Min
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Last Updated: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 13:36
New Delhi: Any information about Justice Nirmal Yadav, the controversial Judge whose name cropped up in 'cash-at-judge's door' case, appears to be confidential and not to be made public.

A week after Supreme Court refused to disclose whether CBI sought permission of Chief Justice of India to prosecute Justice Yadav, the Law Ministry has now said it cannot make public the advice tendered by CJI over the transfer of the then Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Nirmal Yadav to Uttarakhand High Court.

The Ministry said the recommendation of Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan to Law Minister Veerappa Moily on the issue is "in the nature of advice tendered by the Cabinet" which is exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act.

"As regards recommendation given by the Chief Justice of India regarding transfer of Ms Justice Nirmal Yadav, it is stated that such recommendation is in the nature of advice tendered by the Cabinet and is exempted under Section 8 (1)(i) of the RTI Act,2005," S K Srivastava, Deputy Secretary in Law Ministry said in his reply to an RTI application.

Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act cited by Law Ministry exempts "disclosure of cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers" provided "the decisions of Council of Ministers, the reasons thereof, and the material on the basis of which the decisions were taken shall be made public after the decision has been taken, and the matter is complete."

However, if the matter comes under the other exemption clauses listed under the Act it will continue to remain exempted.

The Ministry said disclosure of the information will also violate the "fiduciary relationship" which is also exempted from disclosure under the RTI Act.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had also refused to disclose any information related to the controversial case.

RTI applicant Abhishek Shukla had sought to know from the ministry whether the Law Minister held any meeting with CJI regarding the case and copy of the advice tendered by the CJI to the Minister regarding the transfer of Justice Yadav.

The Department also cited two pending cases in Supreme Court where stay has been granted on the Central Information Commission's directives in similar cases.

Justice Yadav's name had figured in the alleged case after the recovery of a mysterious bag containing Rs 15 lakh at the door of another judge Nirmaljit Kaur, which was said to have been delivered there due to confusion over names.

Justice Kaur reported the matter to the police. Later, the probe was handed over to CBI on the orders of administrator of Chandigarh. The then Attorney General Milon Banerji had reportedly advised the Law Ministry that there was not enough material to proceed further in the matter.

The CBI filed its closure report after it failed to get necessary sanction to launch prosecution against Justice Yadav which was rejected by the court on Friday. Justice Yadav was, meanwhile, transferred to Uttarakhand High Court.


First Published: Sunday, March 28, 2010, 13:36

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