Does The Office Of CJI Come Under The Purview Of RTI Act? SC Finally Lists Its Own Appeal Before Constitution Bench
Cases pertaining to Land Acquisition Matters, Immunity of Legislators, have also been listed for hearing before the Constitution Bench from March 27th.
In the list of cases to be heard by the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court from March 27th, the Supreme Court has included its own appeal against a Delhi High Court judgment that had held that the Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of India are "public authorities" under the Right to Information Act.
Three Judge bench of Delhi High Court comprising the then Chief Justice A P Shah, Justice Vikramjeet Sen and Justice S Muralidhar had upheld the single bench judgment that Supreme Court and the Chief Justice of India have statutory duty to furnish information sought by citizens regarding the functioning and administration of the Supreme Court. The single bench had dismissed the challenge against the order of Central Information Commission whereby it had directed the Supreme Court CPIO to provide the information requested by Subhash Chandra Agarwal for supply of information concerning declaration of personal assets by the Judges of the Supreme Court.
These appeals, though filed in the year 2010, were referred to the Constitution bench only in August 2016 by a three judge bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi. The bench also referred the following questions formulated by a bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice SS Nijjar along with the appeals.
- Whether the concept of independence of judiciary requires and demands the prohibition of furnishing of the information sought? Whether the information sought for amounts to interference in the functioning of the judiciary?
- Whether the information sought for cannot be furnished to avoid any erosion in the credibility of the decisions and to ensure a free and frank expression of honest opinion by all the constitutional functionaries, which is essential for effective consultation and for taking the right decision?
- Whether the information sought for is exempt under Section 8(i)(j) of the Right to Information Act?
The other cases in the list of cases that will be heard by Constitution bench are the following
MADRAS BAR ASSOCIATION vs. UNION OF INDIA
In these cases, the constitution bench will examine the Constitutional validity of Chapter XXVII comprising Sections 407 to 434 of the Companies Act 2013. The Madras Bar Association's plea seeking a direction to implement of the directions issued by the Constitution Bench in R.Gandhi's case supra will also be considered by the Constitution bench.
INDORE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY vs. MANOHAR LAL
THE STATE OF HARYANA VS. MAHARANA PRATAP CHARITABLE TRUST
These cases pertain to the interpretation of or concerning Section 24 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
On February 8, 2018 a three Judge Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, AK Goel and Mohan M Shantanagoudar by a 2:1 majority declared that Pune Municipal Corporation & Anr. v. Harakchand Misirimal Solanki, is per incuriam.
Later, a three judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur, virtually stayed this judgment, and requested the other SC benches and the High Courts to not to deal with any cases relating to the interpretation of or concerning Section 24 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
Thereafter, Justice Arun Mishra bench, taking note of the order by the bench headed by Justice Madan B. Lokur, referred the issue to the Chief Justice of India to constitute a larger bench.
That was how this matter reached the Constitution bench.
SITA SOREN vs. UNION OF INDIA
Whether Article 105/194 (2) of the Constitution of India confers any immunity on the Members of Parliament/Legislative Assembly from being prosecuted for an offence involving offer or acceptance of bribe to caste vote in a legislature?