- The Applicant sought information under RTI seeking details of the cases pending before the Supreme Court of India in which the arguments have been heard and the orders are reserved during the period 2007-2009.
- The Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the Supreme Court of India had not provided the information on the ground that it was not available in that form.
Analysis of decision
- The Delhi HC perused the requirements of the RTI Act. It observes as follows
15. On a combined reading of Section 4(1)(a) and Section 2(i), it appears to us that the requirement is only to maintain the records in a manner which facilitates the right to information under the Act. As already noticed above, “right to information” under Section 2(j) means only the right to information which is held by any public authority. We do not find any other provision under the Act under which a direction can be issued to the public authority to collate the information in the manner in which it is sought by the applicant.
- SC being the Apex court, the litigant does not have any predictable remedy once his case is argued.
- The underlying query of the applicant was that, there is substantial delay in the date when the arguments are concluded and the date when judgement is pronounced.
- Undoubtedly, the Supreme Court will require this data to keep track of their work.
- Non availability of such data itself is a lacuna.
the High Court may be right in interpreting the law. But the Supreme Court of India through its Registrar, could have taken a stand that, it will compile the data and furnish the same. It could have lead by example that, it is open for its performance being subject to checks and balances and is accountable to citizens of India.