NEW DELHI: No one is above the law, neither the prime minister nor the CJI, the Congress said on Wednesday after the Supreme Court held that the office of the Chief Justice of India is a public authority and falls within the purview of the Right to Information Act.
The party also questioned why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was silent on whether political parties should come under the purview of the RTI Act.
"I think, the CJI is a post under the constitution and why should it be out of the purview of Right to Information Act. Neither the prime minister nor the CJI, nobody is above the law," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
He said as far as bringing political parties under the purview of RTI is concerned, a long discussion is on and the Congress wants to know why the prime minister is silent over the issue.
"We have said this earlier too that the government should make its views on this public so that different political parties can air their views on this.
But why is Modi ji silent on the issue and is not speaking out," he asked. Another Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, however, said bringing the CJI or political parties under the RTI is "not relevant as the ruling dispensation is bent upon finishing the RTI Act".
"This question is academic. We have raised this inside and outside Parliament that this government is bent upon finishing the RTI Act," Ramesh said.
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court held that the office of the Chief Justice of India is a public authority and falls within the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi upheld the 2010 Delhi High Court verdict and dismissed three appeals filed by the Secretary-General and the Central Public Information Officer of the apex court.
The top court said that only the names of judges recommended by the Collegium for appointment can be disclosed, and not the reasons.