New Delhi: In a move which may make public the names of judges against whom complaints have been received by the Law Ministry, the CIC has directed the ministry to disclose the forwarding letters attached with such complaints referred to the Supreme Court and the High Courts by it.
The Ministry had earlier claimed that it cannot provide copy of complaints because these complaints are forwarded to Chief Justice of India and Chief Justices of High Courts in respective cases.
It had also said that the ministry officials do not keep a record of these complaints.
While hearing the plea of RTI activist Subhash Agrawal, the Central Information Commission found his demand of the letters "reasonable" and ordered the disclosure of such letters dating back to last one year immediately and asked the officials to trace records for three years and provide it to the applicant.
Information Commissioner Sushma Singh also directed the Ministry to maintain the records in such a manner that they can be retrieved easily whenever requested for by the applicants.
During the hearing, Agrawal emphasised that forwarding letters of complaints against judges must be in ministry`s records and should be provided to him.
The officials claimed that although office copy of forwarding letters are available in their record, the process to club these office copies of the last three years would be a time consuming task.
Agrawal then requested Singh that he should be provided with as many copies of forwarding letters of the past one year. The Information Commissioner termed the request as "reasonable".
"The respondent CPIO is therefore directed to provide to the appellant copies of such forwarding letters as they can trace for the past 3 years but certainly information for the past one year should be provided," she directed.