We, ‘MISSION JUSTICE’ had filed the right to information application with the Hon’ble Apex Court and reference of the issue, in consideration by us, was there in press and newspapers dated 13.04.2012. A copy of the right to information Application, reply, payment receipt and second RTI Application is herewith attached. We have filed the right to information application to know the details about the expenses incurred in the travel of the Hon. CJI to Mumbai to deliver the Nani Palkivala lecture series. We were under the impression that Nani palkivala Trust had invited the Hon. CJI and must pay for the expenses but were informed that it was an official tour and the expenses were borne by the Supreme Court Registry. We wanted to know the details of the stay of the official work and schedule of the Hon. CJI, who had come to Mumbai, along with his wife and Principle secretary and was the official was only limited to the lecture. We hence filed second application. We have paid a sum of Rs. 4.00 for obtaining copies of invitation and acceptance on 14.3.2012 and await the supply of copies.
‘MISSION JUSTICE’ is intending to work on child rights, Judicial reforms, RTI and senior citizens rights as we find that they are not implemented properly and the implementation itself will make all the changes.
The Hon. CJI during hearing of the matter related to deliberations on reporting norms for sub-judice matters has been quoted to have referred to the RTI Application with regard to the Nanipalkivala lecture. We have also sought the information and are unaware of any other application by any other person. Hence our comments are as under :
1. It is stated that “Since I took over as CJI, I have answered all the questions except a few. But the kind of questions and their numbers are exceeding limit”. “we are working hard but are not able to concentrate many a time because of these questions. Are these relevant for the press?”
We have to submit that RTI is not a question and answer sheet, but is a means of applying for information based on records. In case any question is asked and there is no record related to the same, the Ld. PIO is within his rights to reply that the records of the same are not available. But, if someone has asked schedule, time of landing and schedule/details of stay, then the itinerary and dairy records can be provided. The PIO is bound to do is duty independently and provide information, as is available anywhere in the records. The Hon’ble CJI can’t trouble the kind and answering Hon. CJI about any question being asked by any party and must reject questions for which there is no document. If otherwise he makes the Hon. CJI act as deemed PIO, then who will be the Appellate authority?
The PIO must not trouble the Hon. CJI with questions. It must not affect the concentration of the Hon. CJI as the litigants will suffer on account of Hon. CJI not being able to concentrate and it is something which the PIO must take care of.
It is quoted that “RTI act is a good law but there has to be a limit to it.” We feel that a citizen has a right to know about the Hon. CJI about his scheduled official trip, after the trip is over. The limits are set up in section 8 and if there is disagreement the PIO can reject it and let the same travel to CIC and ultimately will come back to the SC for it to sit over the cause related to themselves and decide the issue concerning the RTI and themselves.
2. We are of the opinion and support Mr. Divan’s arguments.
3. Infact there are several more issues which need guidelines and that too more desperately that Media reporting. This includes child rights, which affects crores of children and India has not acted as per the International treaty. We also feel that misuse of pro-women laws like 498A and domestic violence needs more guidelines, as its now an extortion tool and even the right of the children are violated, when despite statutory provision of father being natural guardian, unless it is against the welfare of the child is ignored and the extortionist gets the custody under threat and even false affidavits, statements and concealing of facts by women go unpunished and by this the men and their families rights are violated. We feel even judicial conducts needs guidelines and more so in light of allegations against ex CJIs.
4. We feel that when any judge gives a statement which shows that he has been personal affected by any cause, directly or indirectly related to the issue in hand or related or assumed to have been related by the judge, the Hon’ble Judge must remove himself from the cause. We are of the opinion that if the Hon. Courts themselves don’t lay down guidelines for their own conduct then the citizens, who are sovereign and to whom justice is the first guarantee in the preamble of Constitution, will feel uneasy. Each conduct of the Hon’ble SC and HC judges is expected to be careful, just and must also be seen to be just. We expect the same from the bench in light of statements as recorded in press. This reminds us of Lord Ram who asked her wife and queen Sita to leave the palace and banished her when it is reported to him that some subjects of his in Ayodhya believed that Sita was not fit due to her long captivity in Ravana's city. He did so as a king is expected to uphold moral principles in order to uphold his duty as a king. Thus, he did not think twice before hurting himself and his family for upholding the confidence of the masses and hence he is Lord. We have put up title of Lordship with same expectations on the Hon. Judges.
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