Information disclosure on SC benches to arouse regional feelings

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the apex court to withhold the disclosure of information related to the setting of Supreme Court benches outside Delhi as it may arouse regional feeling and result in law and order disturbance.

“We find force in the arguments of the respondent that the information sought, if disclosed at this stage, could lead to needless controversy of a political nature, which should best be avoided taking into account the need for efficient functioning of the Supreme Court,” the Full Bench said.

Rajiv Rufus, appellant from Madurai, provided information related to the copies of Supreme Court meetings and also the file noting and letters related to the setting up of benches of SC outside Delhi are sent by the Chief Justice of India to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

However, Supreme Court denied to disclose the information as the views expressed by the judges in the meeting are confidential and divulging these would make the system unworkable in practice.

“The question is about openness of the views expressed and mere confidentiality is not a ground to claim exemption… right to justice is a fundamental right and since the Supreme Court is functioning only from Delhi, everybody has to come to Delhi to file or defend the case before it,” R K Jain, activist, submitted before the Commission.

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