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Thread: Are judicial officers above information commission?

  1. #1

    Are judicial officers above information commission?


    Are judicial officers above information commission?
    As Reported in Statesman News Service, BHUBANESWAR, May 18


    Mr Janardan Samantray, a person seeking information under the Right
    To Information Act has wittingly or unwittingly stirred a larger
    debate on whether judicial officers are exempt or immune to notices
    issued by the information commissioner.

    The applicant Mr Samantray had sought information on number of under
    trial prisoners, cases pending, acquittal and convictions. The
    information officer of Khurda district judge rejected the application
    of Mr Samantray who, then moved on first appeal to the district and
    sessions judge court seeking the requisite information. Once again
    his application was dismissed.

    Mr Samantray then moved a second appeal as per provisions of the RTI
    Act and presented his case before the state information commission.
    He contested the rejection of his first appeal and alleged that he
    had not been given reasonable opportunity of being heard.

    Notices were issued to the office of the district judge, Khurda by
    the Information commission to respond on 15 May for hearing the
    matter, but nobody turned up, instead the commission was told that
    the judicial officer had sought opinion and permission of the High
    Court in this regard
    .


    The issue that needs to be debated at the highest level is whether
    judicial officers are exempt from appearing or responding to the
    information commission.

    This being the first such case in Orissa, the grey areas in this
    regard stands to be tested. The High Court's response to the district
    courts request for views on the matter is awaited. Meanwhile the
    information commission has fixed 13 August to discuss the matter.


    Last edited by sidmis; 19-05-08 at 07:47 AM.

  2. Re: Are judicial officers above information commission?


    The matter is of utmost importance to RTI activists. Those of us who are nearby to the applicant should extend all help and encouragement. And post updates. I have also made an appl to HC here. It is more than 20 days. No response. If any of you can search for list of PIO's and AA's if any listed by Raj High court of Judicature.

  3. #3

    Re: Are judicial officers above information commission?


    Under no circumstances judiciary in person can be called by any SIC/CIC.This is not only decorum but constitutional.The judiciary, where administrative matters are concerned , can be/is represented by CPIO/deputy registrar as per rules . In case of personal corruption,there are different rules in force and approved by the parliament.
    It is of utmost importance that we as RTI community discuss matters involving judiciary in an objective and devoid of emotion manner ,with due respect to the institution.
    It is altogether different matter to discuss whether RTI is applicable to judiciary or not and in what all aspects ,and it has been decisively proved during writeups and debates even at highest level in these past few weeks that judiciary per se should be open to RTI.But summoning of judges by CIC/SIC ------NO WAY.
    Last edited by opsharma; 19-05-08 at 03:54 PM.

  4. #4

    Re: Are judicial officers above information commission?



    The matter is of utmost importance to RTI activists. Those of us who are nearby to the applicant should extend all help and encouragement. And post updates.
    Hello slchowdhary,
    Don't worry. The ball is in the district judge's court. Literally !
    He has to prove why he should not come under the Act.
    It's between the commission & the designated PIO(Hon. Dist. Judge).

    After being designated as a PIO he comes under the purview of the RTI Act. I don't think the SIC of Orissa is naive enough to issue summons to a sitting Judge in that capacity.

    Also dont' forget that members of Judiciary are getting benefits through this act.

    https://www.rtiindia.org/forum/365-in...es-rescue.html

  5. #5

    Re: Are judicial officers above information commission?


    Talking of being naive or ...........(sic) , what do you think of the other day, IC directing a mere PIO to lodge a complaint against an erring appellant,and immediately washing his hands off and wiping them clean (A Lady Macbeth act).
    Here ,I respect Col's views- dont "Re employ" men of allegedly questionable integrity in these very important posts,in formative years,just to reward them for allegedly questionable services rendered by them to vested interests,during their active service.Otherwise the very concept of RTI being a powerful tool in the hands of a common man,is likely to start and rest on a very shaky foundation because executioners may allegedly have interests and empathy with entrenched parties which we the people are trying to expose.

  6. #6

    Re: Are judicial officers above information commission?


    I don't think the SIC of Orissa is naive enough to issue summons to a sitting Judge in that capacity.
    I was no way defending the the actions OSIC.

    What I meant to say is that the SIC must have issued his summons to a PIO under the RTI Act and not to a sitting judge. I think he is competent enough for that. Various other SICs are doing it.

    Here's one post by Karira.

    https://www.rtiindia.org/forum/3065-p...b-haryana.html

    Let's see how this matter evolves.

  7. #7

    Re: Are judicial officers above information commission?


    That's what its going to be like,courts have appointed/are in the process of appointing PIOs,AAs who will represent the court issues. Fair enough.
    From the above post by Karira I see the name of a a Lt Gen(retd) as IC in Punjab, this should gladden Col.
    Thanks for healthy and professional discussion .

  8. #8
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    Re: Are judicial officers above information commission?


    Please note that the PIO and AA of the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court (sometimes represented by their counsel) have regularly appeared before the CIC.

    As sidmis pointed out , in this case, the summons have been issued to the PIO. And the PIO is bound to appear before the SIC.

    Please read Sec 18(3) along with Sec 18(3)(a):

    The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, shall, while inquiring into any matter under this section, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in respect of the following matters, namely:—
    a. summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce the documents or things;


    Therefore, it is one judicial officer v/s another !

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