Statistics of judges of SC / HC whose relatives practice in same court
The appellant sought the list of statistics prepared by the Law Ministry comprising of the particulars of relatives (son, daughter and other blood relatives) of lawyers practicing in the same courts where their blood relations are as positioned as incumbent Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that the Department of Justice did not maintain any such statistics and no information can thus be furnished.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent submitted that at the time of appointment of Judges of the Supreme Court/ High Courts, there is a column in the application form, which seeks information regarding close relatives practicing in the Supreme Court/ High Court and after the appointment of Judges, there is no provision for seeking such information at any subsequent stage.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) perused the relevant documents on file and held that the information can only be provided as is held by the Public Authority. The Commission rejected the appeal stating that the information requested by the appellant is not maintained by the respondent.
Citation: Mr. Aseem Takyar v. Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Justice in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/000861
While the information has been provided as available under the RTI Act, it would be prudent to call for such information about practicing blood relatives on a yearly basis from the judges just as Immovable Property Return (IPR) is being filed on a yearly basis to increase transparency in higher judiciary.
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/524
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission