In a major decision on Wednesday, the Supreme Court on Wednesday brought the office of the Chief Justice of India under the RTI ambit, but with certain conditions. The court has upheld the Delhi HC order of 2010. In its ruling, the court said that judicial independence must not avoid accountability
The judgement was delivered by a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. CJI Ranjan will retire on November 17. Other members of the bench are Justices N V Ramana, D Y Chandrachud, Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.
Earlier in the morning, the top court upheld then Karnataka Speaker Ramesh Kumar’s decision to disqualify 17 Congress and JD(S) MLAs. The MLAs were disqualified in July by Kumar just ahead of the trust vote on the floor of the Vidhan Soudha. A three-judge bench of justices NV Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari, however, overruled the Speaker’s decision to disqualify them for the full term of the current Assembly and bar them from contesting elections. The court said that these disqualified MLAs can’t be prevented from contesting the elections and clarified that if they are elected in the bypolls, they can become ministers and hold public office. The top court’s ruling has come as a huge relief for the BJP which gained majority after the resignation of 17 MLAs of the then ruling JD(S)-Congress coalition. The BJP will need the support of six more MLAs if the effective strength of the House increases to 224. The saffron party is likely to field many of the disqualified MLAs in the upcoming bypolls. The Election Commission has announced that 15 of the 17 seats will go to polls on December 5. Results will be declared on December 9.