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News18 » Videos » News18 Shorts

CIC questions selection of a senior judge

Mar 26, 2007 08:56 PM IST India India
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New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has ventured where few dare to tread. An order passed by CIC asks the law ministry to release all the details dealing with the appointment of Justice Virender Jain as a senior judge. Jain, Chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court is now at the centre of a controversy that is brewing between the Information Commission and the Law ministry. The Information Commission wants the ministry to release all the details related to his controversial appointment. Jain's file had once been returned by President Kalam on the grounds of “suspicious conduct”. Former Chief Justice of India YK Sabarwal intervened and Kalam had to give his assent. The Information Commission has now given one month’s time to the law ministry to comply with its order. "It’s a landmark judgment. Till now, judges had sought immunity from justice. Now they will now be under the ambit of RTI," said Information Commissioner MM Ansari. According to the Constitution, Supreme Court judges and chief justices of state high courts are beyond questioning. However if the CIC's order is implemented it could bring about a landmark change in the manner the judiciary functions. It would satisfy the demands of those who have been urging for greater transparency and accountability within the judiciary. "It’s a good beginning. It will help the judiciary,” said lawyer Prashant Bhushan. The judiciary has always been reluctant to part information regarding its functioning and has kept its administrative and financial information under wraps. Supreme Court too has recommended amendment to the RTI, wherein the Chief justice of India could restrict disclosure of information. Although the law ministry is under no obligation to follow CIC's orders, this could well turn into a new flash point between the judiciary and the government.

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