Jharkhand High Court stays SIC order to disclose information about a writ
Ranchi University professor Shyama Raman Pandey had filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the the high court seeking information regarding a writ petition. He desired to know the date of filing of the petition and the progress / status of the case. The Public Information Officer (PIO) of the high court denied the information holding that information about the files and cases that are pending cannot be given. The case came up before the state information commission (SIC) which issued notices to the high court. The PIO appeared before the SIC and argued that the high court was governed by the Jharkhand High Court Right to Information Rules, according to which the information in pending matters cannot be disclosed to an applicant.
The SIC was not convinced and passed an order on February 24, directing the PIO to furnish the information sought by Pandey. It said the high court might be penalised for not adhering to the directive.
On February 24, the state information commissioner and former high court judge D.K. Sinha directed PIO-cum-assistant registrar, A.K. Kaul to hand over the documents in question to Pandey. The order also talked of possible penalty on the PIO. The bench of Justice R.R. Prasad of Jharkhand High Court has now stayed the operation of a directive issued by the SIC.