RTI could extend to judges: CJI

In an exclusive interview to NDTV, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has said that judges are public servants and could come under the Right to Information Act (RTI), adding that it was only a question of interpretation. Earlier, Justice Balakrishnan said that judges are constitutional authorities and above the purview of the RTI, which triggered a nationwide debate.On being asked about his recent remarks that judges do not come within the purview of RTI act, Justice Balakrishnan said that whatever he said was as per the definition of the public authority in the RTI Act.”The chief justices or the judges may not come, it is a question of interpretation. If somebody says it comes, it is all right. But judges are public servants, I have absolutely no doubt whether judges are public servants,” he said.”Judges are public servants. But as public authority, it is the institution, body or any organization, that is the definition. I am happy that this Lok Adalat is being organised by the Delhi High Court,” he added.Justice Balakrishnan said that the 1991 ruling of the Supreme Court that describes judges as public servants and a recent parliamentary panel’s statement that the judges do come in the purview of the RTI are debatable issues. ”The public servant decision is correct and we don’t dispute that,” he said.Justice Balakrishnan was in Delhi High court inaugurating a lok adalat.
Neha Khanna
Saturday, May 10, 2008 (New Delhi)


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