Hearing of the review petition of Namit Sharma case adjourned
There was an exchange of words between the bench of justices AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar of the Supreme Court hearing the review petition in the and Amarjit Singh Chandiok, the Additional Solicitor General (ASG).
The bench said "You are not answering the court's questions. Either you answer the questions intellectually or if you argue this way, we will throw out your review petition." ASG Chandiok was quick to reply "if there is an anxiety to dismiss it, there is no problem." The bench told him that he was not answering the questions to which it was seeking answers. Interrupting him the bench said, "You are only howling and shouting. If you are not capable of answering with intellect, don't howl and shout." ASG Chandiok said, "Let me allow to make submission on poor form of intellect."
The bench wanted the ASG to point out errors in its Namit Sharma judgment wherein it has held that the Information Commission is a judicial body which would work as a two member body one of whom should be from a legal background. It was also ruled that the government should amend the RTI Act, 2005 for the same. The ASG submitted that the RTI Act does not provide for adjudication and only information has to be given under the Act.
Appearing on behalf of the RTI activist Aruna Roy and former Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, Advocate Prashant Bhushan said there was a need for more transparency in the appointment of information officers. The hearing was adjourned.
The Apex Court bench had commented during its last hearing that its verdict in Namit Sharma case for appointment of people from judicial background in information commission was not aimed at rehabilitating judges but to make them independent of the influence of the government.