In a reply to an RTI application, the public information officer of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has said documents pertaining to ‘Mace of Justice’ cannot be supplied due to unavailability with the record room.
Gyan Prakash, a 70-year-old social activist, had sought RTI information from the MP High Court as to under which provision of Indian law the ‘Mace of Justice’ is brought and placed on the dais in front of the bench headed by the Chief Justice in the courtroom No. 1, whenever the bench is assembled.
According to Gyan Prakash, the ‘Mace of Justice’ is an ornamental staff kept at a specified place in a particular manner on the dais in front of the bench headed by the Chief Justice.
The ‘Mace of Justice’, as per information, he holds bear the British Empire symbol – unicorn, instead of the national emblem of India - four lions standing back to back, mounted on an abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening wheels over a bell-shaped lotus, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law (Dharma Chakra) and with Satyameva Jayate.
The ‘Mace of Justice’ being used was received from the British Empire with the letter patent for establishment of high court at Nagpur under the Government of India Act 1935, he said.
The Government of India Act 1935 was repelled by the British Parliament in 1998.
He said: “If permitted by law, then law itself rules/procedure are to be followed for exercising authority of the British Empire in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh under Republic of India and duty of all persons in courtroom towards this ‘Mace’.”
The public information officer of MP High Court said: “With regard to the above desired information, it is informed as per information received from the concerned section of this high court that “Papers related to Mace since 2012 are not available in Record Room (Main File no.II-21-8/34 Part 10)’, therefore information asked for cannot be supplied due to unavailability.”
Furthermore, the PIO said: “The information required by you is in question/query form. The SPIO is not supposed to answer the question or query.”
The “SPIO can only supply the information which is available within the meaning of the “Information” defined u/s 2(f) of RTI Act”, the reply said.
The social activist has now moved the appellate authority for providing the information in this regard.
Read the RTI reply here.