After the Supreme Court ruled that the Chief Justice of India’s Office is a “public authority” and also that it comes under the ambit of Right to Information Act, Shiv Sena hailed the ruling and called it a “historic decision”. Saamana, the mouthpiece of Shiv Sena stated, “The decision of the Supreme Court is going to give far-reaching results and broaden the right to information.”
The decision was taken by a five-judge bench of Ranjan Gogoi, Justice NV Ramana, DY ChandraChud, Deepak Gupta and Sankjiv Khanna, who concluded that “judicial independence and accountability go hand-in-hand as accountability ensures, and is a facet of judicial independence,” henceforth the bench upheld the 2010 order of Delhi High Court.
Reading out the majority verdict, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, said public interest demands that transparency is maintained, “When the public interest demands the disclosure of information, judicial independence has to be kept in mind while deciding the question of exercise of discretion.” Justice Sanjiv Khanna is also in the line of succession to be the Chief Justice of India.
The apex court also said that transparency and openness in judicial appointments juxtaposed with confidentiality of deliberations remain one of the most delicate and complex areas. “Clearly, the position is progressive as well as evolving as steps have been taken to make the selection and appointment process more transparent and open. Notably, there has been a change after concerns were expressed on disclosure of the names and the reasons for those who had not been approved,” the bench observed.