Madras HC stays show cause notice to its registry for imposing penalty under RTI
The Madras High Court has granted a stay to the show cause notice issued by the State Information Commission (SIC) to the High Court registry asking why a penalty of Rs 25,000 should not be imposed for failing to disclose the information sought by an applicant.
A division bench of Justice P Jyothimani and Justice M Duraisamy granted the interim relief to the court's registrar-general, against whom the commission had issued the show-cause notice citing a Supreme Court judgment slamming misuse of the RTI Act for 'indiscriminate and impractical' information.
In January 2009, an application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Madras high court seeking a list of all registers, with index or subjects, and copies of all forms and registers being maintained by the High Court. When the information was not furnished within the stipulated time period, the SIC had issued a show cause notice for imposing penalty. The registry of the High Court filed a petition claiming that the request of the applicant was not in accordance with the object of the RTI Act. The petition sought that the show cause notice is liable to be set aside on the ground that indiscriminate and impracticable demand made by the applicant cannot be acceded to and that it would severely affect the efficiency of the administration.
The bench stayed the show cause notice for a period of eight weeks.
No man can be a judge in his own case. Therefore, should cases where the registry of the High Court is a noticee be heard by another High Court?