Art & Culture
- Sexual Harassment Charges against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
- All You Need to know about Electoral Bonds
- Electoral Bonds controversy
- NaMo TV controversy
- General Elections 2019
- RBI Governor bats for a Permanent Status to Finance Commission
- PM Modi’s Mission Shakti Speech & Model Code of Conduct
- Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s latest Controversy
- Rafale deal document controversy
- Should SC Judges be under RTI ambit?
- Supreme Court Judgement on Tainted Candidates
- VVPAT verification
Governance & Social Justice
- Candida Auris : Drug- resistant fungi
- Candida auris infection
- Healthcare System for India, Difference in USA & European healthcare model?
- Lateral Entry in Civil Services explained
- Model policy for Women in Police
- NIRF India Rankings 2019 declared
- Quality Assurance Scheme
- Sex on false promise of marriage is rape
- Survey 2019 Ambitions Beyond Growth report by UNESCAP
- World Health Statistics Overview 2019 report on Life Expectancy
- World Press Freedom Index 2019
- Supreme Court compensation order on Bilkis Bano case
- WHO guidelines on physical activity for children under 5 years of age
- Global Talent Competitive Index 2019
- Algeria Political Crisis
- EU’s new Copyright Law, Will it change Web Worldwide?
- India Pakistan Kartarpur Corridor Talks
- India to Become NATO Ally?
- Japan Starts a New Era
- Julian Assange Arrested
- Sudan Political Crisis
- Trump designates Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran
- United Nations Has to Pay India $38 Million
- US labels Revolutionary Guard of Iran a terror organisation
- US Mexico border wall controversy
- Why is UAE Important for India?
- Why is Chile Important for India?
- India Pakistan Conflict De-escalation Mechanisms
- India suspends cross LoC trade with Pakistan
- What is Arab Spring 2.0?
- India to stop buying Oil from Iran
- Trump withdraws from UN arms treaty
- Asian Development Outlook 2019
- China’s growth after slowdown
- Foreign Investment in India
- India’s 20th Livestock Census
- India’s transition to Renewable Energy from conventional sources
- Indian Army Builds The Longest Bridge of India Over Indus In Leh
- India Energy Modelling Forum by NITI Aayog & USAID
- National Common Mobility Card launched
- Rise and fall of Private Airlines in India
- Rise in Global Crude Oil prices & weakening Rupee
- Slowdown in Industrial Growth & rising Inflation
- Supreme Court order on EPFO
- Supreme Court quashes RBI’s 12 February Circular on NPA
- What are Junk Bonds?
- What is Fixed Maturity Plans?
- What is GDP deflator? Is it more comprehensive compared to WPI and CPI?
- What is Trader’s Credit Card Scheme?
- What is Wholesale Price Index?
- 1st Bimonthly Monetary Policy review – April 2019
- National Rubber Policy 2019
- Sensex hits 7 months high, History & Functions of Bombay Stock Exchange
- Supreme Court orders RBI on RTI
- What is Dedollarisation?
- Asian Tea Alliance
- Pepsico vs Farmers Issue
Defence & Security
Science & Technology
- Dhanush Artillery Guns
- Combat Casualty Drugs
- The Indian Museum of the Earth (TIME)
- EMISAT Satellite Launched
- Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric
- First Ever Image of a Black Hole
- India to Buy MH60 Romeo Helicopters
- Nepal and Sri Lanka Launch Their First Satellites Raavana 1 & NepaliSat-1
- Nirbhay Missile Successfully Tested
- High Bacteriophages in Ganga River
- Army invokes Emergency Powers for Missile Deal
- Cell Based Meat
- INS Imphal Guided Missile Destroyer
- Draft Indian Forest Act 2019
- Gujarat Fishermen’s victory in US Supreme Court
- Humpback Mahseer Fish included in Critically Endangered list by IUCN
- India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)
- Jammu & Kashmir Environment Issues
- Madras High Court order on Chennai Salem Highway
- Monkey declared Vermin in Himachal Pradesh
- Neelakurinji Flower under Severe Threat
- Solar eWaste
- Special Postal Stamp on Ice Stupas released
- State of Global Climate report 2018
- What is Green Finance Ecosystem?
- Wind turbines are impacting ecology in Western Ghats
- All about Wild Food Plants
Spice of the Month
- GS 2 || Polity || Judiciary || Supreme Court
Why in news?
- A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has finally concluded hearing a crucial appeal (after being nine years in cold storage) under the Right to Information Act (RTI), 2005.
RTI cases on question
- Appointment of judges: An RTI applicant filed a request to the Supreme Court in 2009 seeking a copy of the complete correspondence, with file notings, exchanged between the chief justice of India (CJI) and other concerned constitutional authorities relating to –
- the appointment of Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice A. K. Ganguly and Justice R.M. Lodha as judges of the Supreme Court, superseding the seniority of Justice A.P. Shah, Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice V.K. Gupta.
- The information sought was denied.
- When the Central Information Commission (CIC) directed that the information be furnished, the information officer of the apex court appealed directly to the Supreme Court against the order.
- Assets declaration: In the second case, the RTI applicant asked if any declaration of assets was ever filed by the judges of the Supreme Court or high courts to the respective CJIs.
- The Supreme Court’s 1997 resolution requires judges to declare to the CJI the assets held by them in their own name, in the name of their spouse or any person dependent on them.
- The information was denied but the CIC directed that the information sought by the applicant be provided.
- The CIC order was challenged by the Supreme Court in the Delhi high court, which held that the contents of asset declarations were entitled to be treated as personal information under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, but since the applicant only sought to know whether the 1997 resolution was complied with, the sought information should be provided.
- This judgement was subsequently challenged by the chief public information officer before the Supreme Court.
- Influence on judgment: Quoting a media report, an RTI application was filed with the Supreme Court seeking copies of correspondence between the then CJI and a judge of the Madras high court regarding the attempt of a union minister to influence judicial decisions of the said high court.
- The applicant also sought information regarding the name of the concerned union minister.
- The CIC, in its order, overturned the decision of the public information officer, which denied the information sought.
- Bypassing the Delhi high court, the public information officer of the Supreme Court directly moved a petition before the SC challenging the CIC order to disclose information.
- In its order, the Supreme Court, while hearing the case related to correspondence between the CJI and other constitutional authorities about the appointment of judges, clubbed the other two cases with the matter.
- The apex court order stated that the consideration of a larger bench was required as grave constitutional issues were at stake, including the need to balance the independence of the judiciary and the fundamental constitutional right of citizens to freedom of speech and expression.
- One of the three crucial questions raised in this case pertains to whether judges are required to publicly disclose their assets under the RTI Act in light of Section 8(1)(j).
- This provision prohibits the sharing of personal information that has no nexus to public activity or which amounts to an unwarranted invasion of privacy unless the larger public interest justifies such a disclosure.
Central Information Commission (CIC)
- The Central Information Commission has been constituted under the Right to Information Act, 2005.
- The jurisdiction of the Commission extends over all Central Public Authorities.
- The Commission has certain powers and functions which broadly relate to –
- adjudication in second appeal for giving information;
- direction for record keeping,
- suo motu disclosures
- receiving and enquiring into a complaint on inability to file RTI etc;
- imposition of penalties and Monitoring and Reporting including preparation of an Annual Report.
- The decisions of the Commission are final and binding.
- With the allegations made recently about the judiciary’s functioning, the RTI Act would serve as a master tool, making the justice delivery mechanism more immune to political pressure and accountable to the people. Comment.