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A recent Supreme Court verdict has barred citizens from accessing court records under the RTI Act; do you think it is a verdict against judicial transparency? Analyse.

Topic:  Structure, organization and functioning of the Executive and the Judiciary—Ministries and Departments of the Government; pressure groups and formal/informal associations and their role in the Polity.

4. A recent Supreme Court verdict has barred citizens from accessing court records under the RTI Act; do you think it is a verdict against judicial transparency? Analyse.(250 words)

Reference:  The Hindu

Why this question:

The Supreme Court in Chief Information Commissioner v. High Court of Gujarat case has held that the information to be accessed/certified copies on the judicial side is to be obtained through the mechanism provided under the High Court Rules and the provisions of the RTI Act shall not be resorted to.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must analyse the impact of verdict with respect to the judicial transparency.

Directive:

Analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary.

Structure of the answer:

Introduction:

Present in short the background of the question.

Body:

The Chief Information Commission and Gujarat Information Commission had challenged a Gujarat High Court order which had held that the high court rules governing the issuance of certified copy of the documents would prevail over the Right to Information Act provisions.

Discuss the Importance of court records to public discourse in India.

Explain what the conflicts are between RTI and other laws.

Discuss the concerns associated with such a judgment and its impact on judicial transparency.

Conclusion:

Conclude that The Supreme Court, on various occasions, has ruled that it is binding (with exemptions) on public sector institutions to implement RTI to promote transparency in the system. Going forward, the SC should walk the talk if it aspires to inspire any public institution to put words into action.