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
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.