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ATTORNEY GENERAL ARGUES IN SUPREME COURT'S APPEAL BEFORE CONSTITUTIONAL BENCH HEADED BY CJI RANJAN GOGOI

Team SoOLEGAL 4 Apr 2019 10:51am

ATTORNEY GENERAL ARGUES IN SUPREME COURT'S APPEAL BEFORE CONSTITUTIONAL BENCH HEADED BY CJI RANJAN GOGOI

The Apex Court filed appeals on its own motion concerning the applicability of Right to Information Act to the judiciary. One such instance was disclosing full correspondence which included files exchanged between the constitutional authorities for appointments of Justices H. L. Dattu, A. P. Ganguly and R. M. Lodha in supersession of Justices A. P. Shah, A. K. Patnaik and V. K. Gupta

It was pointed out that there existed no law in 1981 when judgment was rendered in S. P. Gupta. The Attorney General K. K. Venugopal opined that there was no reference to Article 19(1)(a) alone and so the decision could not be applied to the present case.

He distinguished seven-judge bench authority of S. P. Gupta and described it as "very idealistic".

The definition of 'information' as per Section 2(f) of the RTI Act was referred to as

"Information" is what is already in existence in the final form in which its disclosure is being sought. It should exist as a document or a memo or an email, etc. "And I say this because some of the judges may have submitted the data as to their assets and some have not. Is it open to a third party to seek information regarding what the assets are?He is not asking for some existing documents but for the final publication of all the assets, in which case the liabilities and the loans also have to be disclosed. And then an auditor needs to work on them for the final result. It needs an exercise to be undertaken in taking note of all that he has, all that he owns and then his liabilities. 'Information' must be existing in a physical form- it could even be a record like a sale deed, but there are no existing documents as to the assets of a person"
CJI Ranjan Gogoi also inquired about those who have already submitted their assets.

To this Attorney General replied"

"Subject to other grounds, that would be 'information'. But In this case, what the respondent has sought are not the contents of what has been submitted but who are the judges who have made the declaration. Your Lordships have already put it up on the website that 8 judges have submitted. There may be many others but it is not on the website. Who all have made the declaration is a piece of information which may not affect the personal aspects of the individuals concerned", replied the AG.

Tagged: Righ to Information   Attorney General   K.K. Venugopal   Supreme Court  
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