NEW DELHI: Information regarding assets of Supreme Court judges does not constitute the ‘personal information’ of the judges and does not engage the right to privacy, Justice D Y Chandrachud said while agreeing with fellow judges on the constitution bench which held that office of the CJI is a public authority and falls under the RTI Act.
In a separate but concurring judgment, Justice Chandrachud said, “Contents of declaration of assets would fall within the meaning of ‘personal information’ and the test set out under clauses of RTI Act would be applicable.”
He said placing the criteria followed in making judicial appointments in the public domain will fulfil the purpose and mandate of provisions of the RTI Act, engender public confidence in the process and provide a safeguard against extraneous considerations entering into the process.
Referring to collegium system, Justice Chandrachud in his 113-page verdict said it is a “victim of its own birth pangs” and has come under immense criticism for its lack of transparency.
“The integrity, independence, and impartiality of the judiciary are preconditions for fair and effective access to justice and for the protection of rights. The judiciary has a vital role to play as a bulwark of the integrity infrastructure in the country,” the judge said.