SC verdict on bringing CJI office under RTI Act, disqualification of Karnataka MLAs on November 13

The verdict on bringing the office of CJI under the ambit of RTI Act will be delivered by a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi at 2 pm.

SC verdict on bringing CJI office under RTI Act, disqualification of Karnataka MLAs on November 13

The Supreme Court (SC) is scheduled to deliver its verdict on pleas challenging the Delhi High Court decision bringing Chief Justice of India's (CJI) office under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act and on the disqualification of 17 rebel Karnataka MLAs on Wednesday.

The verdict on bringing the office of CJI under the ambit of RTI Act will be delivered by a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi at 2 pm. Other members of the bench are Justices NV Ramana, DY Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna. 

On April 4, the Constitution bench had reserved its verdict on the appeals filed in 2010 by the SC secretary general and its central public information officer against the order passed by the Delhi HC and Central Information Commission (CIC).

"Nobody wants to remain in the state of darkness or keep anybody in the state of darkness. The question is drawing a line. In the name of transparency, you can't destroy the institution," the SC bench had said.

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It may be recalled that the Delhi HC had said in its verdict on January 10, 2010 that the office of the CJI comes within the ambit of the RTI. The Delhi HC had also ruled that judicial independence was not the privilege of a judge but a responsibility cast upon him. A three-judge HC bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah (since retired) and Justices Vikramjit Sen and S Muralidhar had delivered the landmark verdict.

In the Karnataka MLA case, the SC had completed hearing in October 2019 but the apex court had reserved its verdict. It may be recalled that 17 Karnataka MLAs were disqualified before the trust vote moved by former Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who had resigned after losing a trust vote. Kumaraswamy's loss allowed the BJP to form government in the state under the leadership of BS Yediyurappa.

During the hearing, some disqualified MLAs had told the SC that they have an "indefeasible right" to resign as MLAs and the decision by the then Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar to disqualify from Assembly them highlights "vengeance" and "mala fide".