The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Supreme Court registry and Law Ministry to provide three-year records of the medical expenses of all individual judges to RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, within 15 days.
Agrawal has sought information on all the medical expenses, incurred by judges both in and outside the country, which have been reimbursed by the apex court, as per the RTI Act.
Chief Information Commissioner Satyanand Mishra also asked the authorities to furnish details of the available rules and guidelines about the appointment of retired SC judges as arbitrators, besides all the resolutions passed since 1997 at the meetings of judges, under the transparency law.
The CIC rejected the plea of the SC as well as the Law Ministry that such details could not be provided as these were personal in nature and were not available with them.
“We find it difficult to accept the contention of the respondents that such simple statistical information as the total expenses incurred on medical reimbursement for individual judges or the list of resolutions passed in the meetings of all judges should not be available in the SC,” it said.
Few days before a Supreme Court bench highlighted misuse of the Right To Information (RTI) Act, the apex court got a stay on disclosing information about medical expenses of its judges.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Supreme Court to place its order before the secretary general so that medial expenditure of each judge --- serving or retired --- can be extracted and furnished to information seeker.
The Supreme Court had refused to provide medical expenses of individual judge on the ground that it maintain the medical expenditure figures for all judges combinedly and not individually.
Chief Information Officer Satyananda Mishra said the RTI law gives the CIC powers to direct a public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to secure compliance of information, wanted the Court to maintain medical
Mishra gave the court a month’s time to place its order before the secretary general and inform it about the final decision.
Before the end of the deadline, the Supreme Court filed a petition against the CIC order in the Delhi high court and the stay was granted on March 30, 2012.
The Supreme Court had earlier got a stay on a similar order issued by the CIC in August 2011. Now, the Delhi high court will hear both the petitions this July.