Grounds for passing Judgments cannot be disclosed under RTI Act: Supreme Court Appellate Authority

Grounds for passing Judgments cannot be disclosed under RTI Act: Supreme Court Appellate Authority

Dismissing the plea of an RTI activist demanding the rationale behind review petitions, the Appellate authority, created under Section 5(1) and under Section 19(1) of Right to Information Act, 2005 said that such information cannot be disclosed to the litigants under the Act. The impugned orders were passed without holding a hearing and without citing any reasons for the same.

The petition was filed by an advocate, Ravinder Raj. The Court reportedly cited its 2010 decision in the case of Khanapuram Gandaiah v Administrative Officer and Ors. in which the apex court had held that “an applicant under Section 6 of the RTI Act can get any information which is already in existence and accessible to the public authority under law. Of course, under the RTI Act an applicant is entitled to get copy of the opinions, advices, circulars, orders, etc., but he cannot ask for any information as to why such opinions, advices, circulars, orders, etc. have been passed, especially in matters pertaining to judicial decisions. A judge speaks through his judgments or orders passed by him. If any party feels aggrieved by the order/judgment passed by a judge, the remedy available to such a party is either to challenge the same by way of appeal or by revision or any other legally permissible mode. No litigant can be allowed to seek information as to why and for what reasons the judge had come to a particular decision or conclusion. A judge is not bound to explain later on for what reasons he had come to such a conclusion.”

The Court hence, reiterated its stand and urged the petitioners to take a cue from the existing law.