Difficult to answer RTI queries regarding judgements: SC

Last Updated: Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 23:58

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said its
officials handling RTI matters cannot be expected to answer
queries relating to judgements passed by it because of
"limited resources" available with them.

"As far as the Central Public Information Officer is
concerned, it may be very difficult to comment on a decision
or give a report whether a thing has been done in a judgement
or not. It is the job of a lawyer".

"The CPIO may not be in the best position to actually
understand the import of the decision," counsel for Supreme
Court Devdutt Kamat said during a hearing at Central
Information Commission.

He said, "CPIO has limited resources and limited
infrastructure. Under the RTI regime, whatever is available in
the registry, definitely, he will give but if this request is
allowed we are going to land in lot of problems".

Kamat submitted before the Commission that if information
sought by any RTI applicant is in the "possession" of the
registry of the apex court, it will definitely be given.

"But information as far as judgement is concerned. What
is a judgement, what is the import of a judgement, what are
the directions given in a judgement? That advice is best
appropriate to be left to a lawyer," he said.
Kamat was arguing in a hearing related to a case in
which an RTI applicant was denied information about Supreme
Court`s "suggestion" to the Union Government on Padma awards.

Applicant Subhash Chandra Agrawal had sought to know if
the Union Home Ministry was ever directed by the apex court to
constitute some committee for reforms in respect of Padma
awards along with relevant documents.

Referring to an apex court decision, Kamat said Supreme
Court had "only suggested" formation of a committee of the
eminent persons to decide Padma awards.

Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said
information given by Kamat "as a counsel" provides the answer
to the query.

-PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 23:58

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