New Delhi: The Central Information Commission
has directed the Supreme Court to make public rules relating
to appointment of its retired judges as arbitrators and
medical reimbursement made to individual judges during last
three years, dismissing objections raised by the apex court.
Clubbing together three RTI applications of activist
Subhash Agrawal, the transparency panel also directed the apex
court to disclose the list of all resolutions passed by
meetings of all the judges since 1997.
The information sought in three separate applications was
denied by the Supreme Court either on the grounds that it was
personal in nature or it was not available in the form sought
Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra rejected
the grounds cited by the Supreme Court for withholding the
information and directed it to furnish rules and guidelines
relating to appointment of apex court judges as arbitrators,
medical reimbursement by judges, list of resolutions.
He said it was "very difficult" to accept the contention
of the Supreme Court that "simple statistical information" as
the total expenses incurred on medical reimbursement for
individual judges or the list of resolutions passed in
meetings of all its judges should not be available.
"All offices funded by the State have to maintain
accounts of all expenses made on such heads as medical records
again to provide to the appellant within 15 days of receipt of
this order," Mishra said.
He directed the Supreme Court to ensure that arrangements
are made in future for maintaining such information in digital
format as mandated under the RTI Act so its retrieval and
disclosure would become easier.