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NEW DELHI: Transparency activists on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision on bringing the office of the Chief Justice of India under the ambit of the RTI Act, saying the apex court has reiterated the established position in law in the matter.
“I welcome the decision of the constitution bench to reiterate the established position in law that the CJI is a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act,” said Venkatesh Nayak, head of access to information programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), an NGO.
About the Supreme Court’s remark that RTI cannot be used as a tool of surveillance, Nayak termed it as “extremely unfortunate” observation. “It is extremely unfortunate that an observation has been made that RTI can be a tool for surveillance on the judiciary. Surveillance has unfortunately been equated with transparency that is required under a law duly passed by Parliament,” he told PTI. Nayak said surveillance is what the government often does under executive instructions and that is not the purpose of the RTI Act.
Former information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi also hailed the top court’s decision. “It is a very good decision of the SC. I had expected the same decision to come as logically there is nothing else. It is unfortunate that it has taken 10 years. The CIC has upheld this. (PTI)