Who will make the High Courts follow the RTI Act?
The Section 4 of the RTI Act mandates that all the public authorities have to make certain suo-motu disclosures without any need to file a RTI application. This pro-active disclosure was supposed to be done way back in the year 2005 and this information was to be updated from time to time. When it was brought to the notice of the Central Information Commission (CIC) that the High courts have failed to adhere to words and spirit of the RTI Act, the CIC had issued a directive to the High Courts to follow the Right to Information (RTI) Act rule book. In January 2012, the CIC had ordered all the High Courts to disclose complete information of the organisation, employees, salaries drawn, decisions taken and budget allocated, on their websites by 1st April 2012 after consulting with them.
Even though sufficient time was given to the High Courts, the compliance of the orders of the CIC has not been done. The CIC is now sending notices to High Courts for non-compliance as not even a single compliance report from any high court has received by it. In the order, the CIC had specifically named high courts of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Allahabad, Madras, Punjab & Haryana and Sikkim which were found lagging in the implementation of the RTI Act while the Guwahati high court was praised.
When someone does not follow the law, the judiciary is the force to enforce the rule of law. The non - implementation of the CIC order leads to a precarious condition where the judiciary itself fails to follow the rules. Hopefully, better sense would prevail in the times to come.