The Madras High Court has directed its Registrar-General to implead the TN Information Commission also as a party in the writ proceedings in the event of a challenge is made to the orders passed by the Commission.
A division bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal gave the direction while passing orders on a writ petition from the High Court RG challenging the orders of the TNIC. It would help the court to arrive at a complete and comprehensive decision, the bench said.
Originally, KU Rajasekar applied to the Public Information Officer attached to the High Court seeking certain details with regard to his matrimonial case and the diary notings. As the PIO did not furnish the same, he took up the matter with the TNIC, which finally directed the Madras High Court Registrar-General in July last year to supply copies of all diary notings to Rajasekar free of cost and file compliance report. Aggrieved, the RG filed the present petition.
The bench directed the RG to furnish within two weeks all the details as per the Rules of Appellate Side to Udayakumar on payment of necessary charges. The bench also held that the direction of the TNIC to the PIO to furnish the records free of cost and report compliance, as not correct. The applicant should pay the necessary charges as per the rules.
‘‘This is because the independence of the judiciary is a basic structure of the Constitution. In the constitutional scheme of things, the judiciary is free from the executive and legislature,’’ the bench said.
The bench said that Clause 37 of the Letters Patent conferred powers on the High Court from time to time to make rules and orders for regulating all proceedings in civil cases before the court. Also, the court’s Appellate Side Rules permitted any party to obtain certified copies. Therefore, it was of the considered view that the applicant was entitled to receive copies of the diary notings and other records sought for by him only under those rules.
The applicant can also avail of the benefit under Rule 4 of the Madras High Court, Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules by which information under RTI Act could be provided to him on payment of necessary charges, the bench added.