As reported in "Mid Day" (Dec.18,2006)
The Bombay High Court and its subordinate courts don’t have a Public Information Officer (PIO). Till one is appointed, there is no one to give you official information on matters related to the said courts. You do have a right to seek a right to information though.
Not covered by RTI
Advocate Macchindra Patil had written to the Registrar General of the Bombay High Court M N Gilani, seeking information on the number of vacancies for judicial officers in the state. “The registrar general refused my application on the grounds that HC is not covered by the Maharashtra Right To Information Act,” he said.
Patil, however, learnt that the Bombay High Court has already sought to address the issue of transparency by drafting the Right To Information Rules (RTIR). Notably, the high court initiated the move on its own.
The RTIR, which was declared through a notification signed by Gilani on December 9, 2006, identified the PIO to be the most important officer facilitating the implementation of RTIR. Gilani, however, through a handwritten note dated December 14 admitted that no PIO has been appointed till date and assured that he plans to appoint one soon.
The role of PIO
To get information under RTIR, a self-signed application will have to be produced before the PIO after affixing a court stamp fee of Rs 12.
After scrutinising the application, the PIO will instruct the applicant to appear on the fifth day of submitting the application. To inform the applicant whether the desired information can be passed to him or not is a duty of the PIO. If the applicant is illiterate, the PIO is expected to help him with the application.
The PIO’s office will maintain a register containing details of applications made and action taken. The PIO will certify the information by putting his signature and seal. A fee of Rs 10 per page will be charged if the information is provided in the form of photocopies. A cash register will be maintained by the PIO.
The RTIR notification is available on Bombay High Court’s website, www.hcbom.mah.nic.in
Its almost impossible to get information from Courts. Hope sooner or later situation will improve.
We will push this with Courts. I am going to meet Chief Justice MP High Court on 26th and this is one of the item I am going to pursue.
Wish your great success for your noble efforts.