Apex court registry to file appeal against RTI verdict

New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) The Supreme Court registry is all set to move the apex court challenging the Delhi High Court’s Jan 12 verdict declaring the office of the chief justice of India within the ambit of the Right to Information Act.

The apex court registry will file the lawsuit against the high court ruling well before March 12, when the two-month deadline for challenging the verdict expires.

The court’s Secretary General M.P. Bhadran told IANS: ‘We are likely to file it next week.’

Pointing out that the deadline for filing the appeal is March 12, he said: ‘Definitely, we will have to take a decision either way before March 12.’

The Jan 12 ruling by a three-judge bench of the Delhi High Court had endorsed its earlier Sep 2 ruling, which has asked the CJI to declare the apex court judges’ assets, while holding that the office of the CJI is within the ambit of RTI Act.

Reacting to the Sep 2 ruling, the apex court, though declaring the judges’ assets last year, challenged the high court ruling before a larger bench of the high court. However, the appeal was dismissed.

According to informed sources, the appeal has been drafted by Supreme Court lawyer Devdutt Kamat and is being vetted by Attorney General Goolam E. Vahanvati, who will represent the apex court in the case.

The sources said that among other things, the appeal seeks an immediate stay on the high court judgment. It wants the apex court to scrap the high court ruling on the ground that its verdict wrongly held that correspondence between the CJI and other members of the higher judiciary could be sought under the RTI Act.

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