Information about judicial proceeding wherein appellant was a party - SC: Appellant may obtain certified copies of judicial proceedings as per Supreme Court Rules 1966 - CIC: Other statutory provision to provide information is not destroyed because of RTI
1. The appellant filed RTI application dated 18.10.2013 seeking certified copy of the rejoinder /reply filed by the petitioner in Transfer Petition (criminal) No. 509/2012 titled Chitra Gupta @ Divya Gupta & Ors vs. Vijay Prakash Gupta, certified copy of order dated 08.10.2013 passed in aforesaid Petition, etc. 2. The CPIO responded on 20.11.2013. The appellant filed first appeal on 03.12.2013 with the First Appellate Authority (FAA). The FAA responded on 23.12.2013 (FAA response is not on record). The appellant filed second appeal on 18.02.2014 with the Commission.
3. The appellant and the respondent both participated in the hearing.
4. The appellant stated that no claim has been made by the respondent under section 8 and 9 of the RTI Act to deny the information. The appellant stated that the respondent has not furnished the sought for information stating that appellant may refer to Supreme Court Rules 1966 to obtain certified copies of judicial proceedings. The appellant stated that he was the seeking information of judicial proceeding wherein he was the party.
5. The appellant stated that the Commission in its decision CIC/WB/A/2008/01010/SG/2228 in the matter of Mr. Rakesh Kumar Aggrawal held that: “If a Public authority has a process of disclosing certain information which can also be accessed by a Citizen using Right to Information, it is the Citizen’s right to decide which route he wishes to use. The existence of another method of accessing information cannot be used to deny the Citizen his freedom to use his fundamental right codified under the Right to Information Act. If Parliament wanted to restrict his right, it would have been stated in the Law. Nobody else has the right to constrain or constrict the rights of the Citizen. There is no proviso in the Right to Information Act which restrains the Citizen’s right to use it, if another route to avail information has been offered. It is a Citizen’s right to use the most convenient and efficacious means available to him.”
6. The appellant also relied upon the Commission’s decision CIC/SM/A/2011/000237/SG/12351 (Mr. R. S. Misra vs. CPIO, Supreme Court) dated 11.05.2011 in this regard.
7. The respondent stated that the appellant vide letter dated 2011.2013 has been informed that there is a provision under the Supreme Court Rules 1966, which are available on Supreme Court’s website www.supremecourtofindia.nic.in, to obtain certified copies of judicial document/judgements/orders of this Hon’ble Court on payment of prescribed fee and charges by making an application to the Registrar (Copying), Supreme Court of India.
8. The respondent, relying on the Commission’s decision CIC/RM/A/2014/004655 dated 09.03.2016, stated that the ratio of this cited decision is applicable in this case also.
9. The respondent stated that the Commission’s decision no. CIC/SM/A/2011/000237/SG/12351 (Mr. R. S. Misra vs. CPIO, Supreme Court) dated 11.05.2011 has been stayed on 23.05.2011 by the High Court of Delhi in WP (C) 3530/2011 in the matter of Registrar, Supreme Court of India vs. R. S. Mishra & Ors)
10. This Commission, in its decision CIC/RM/A/2014/004655 dated 09.03.2016 held that the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act cannot override the rules and orders made by the Supreme Court of India for disclosure of certified copies of judicial records mainly because there is nothing inconsistent in those rules and orders. The common objective of both the Right to Information (RTI) Act and the rules and orders of the Supreme Court of India is disclosure of information. Therefore, any citizen seeking certified copies of judicial records must get such records by adopting the procedure prescribed by the Supreme Court and not under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
11. The High Court of Delhi in W.P. (C) 11271/2009 decided on 01.06.2012 in the matter of Registrar of Companies & Ors. Vs. Respondent: Dharmendra Kumar Garg & Anr. held inter alia that “Therefore, if another statutory provision, created under any other law, vests the right to seek information and provides the mechanism for invoking the said right (which is also statutory, as in this case) that mechanism should be preserved and operated, and not destroyed merely because another general law created to empower the citizens to access information has subsequently been framed.”
12. The action/steps taken by the respondents in dealing with RTI application are satisfactory and the ratio of decision of the High Court of Delhi in W.P. (C) 11271/2009 decided on 01.06.2012 is applicable in this case also.
13. No further intervention of the Commission is required in the matter. The appeal is disposed of. Copy of the decision be given free of cost to the parties.
(Radha Krishna Mathur)
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Mr. Vijay Prakash Gupta v. Supreme Court of India in Appeal No. CIC/RM/A/2014/001189