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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION
(Under Article 136 of the Constitution o...
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION
(Under Article 136 of the Constitution o...
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION
(Under Article 136 of the Constitution o...
MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:
1. The Petitioner is filing the present Special Leave Petition against the
impugned Order dated...
as has been described under Section 2 (j) of the Act but information held
by it in the exact form in which CIC has ordered...
The annexures produced along with the SLP are true copies of the
pleadings/documents, which formed part of the record of t...
judgments which, I am sure, shall be followed by all concerned, being
the mandate of this Court. Such guidelines, as for p...
require the public authority to take any such steps as may be
necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of this A...
6. GROUNDS FOR INTERIM RELIEF
A. That the petitioner herein as a good prima facie case and balance of
convenience is in hi...
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Special leave petition

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SLP in SC against Division Bench order

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Special leave petition

  1. 1. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (Under Article 136 of the Constitution of India) SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. OF 2016 [Arising out of the Impugned Order dated 07.01.2016 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in LPA 24/2015] In the matter of: COMMODORE LOKESH K. BATRA (RETD.) …PETITIONER VERSUS THE REGISTRAR, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA …RESPONDENTS PAPER BOOK (FOR INDEX PLEASE SEE INSIDE) ADVOCATE FOR THE PETITIONER: PRASHANT BHUSHAN
  2. 2. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (Under Article 136 of the Constitution of India) SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. OF 2016 In the matter of: COMMODORE LOKESH K. BATRA (RETD.) …PETITIONER VERSUS THE REGISTRAR, SUPREME COURT OF INDIA …RESPONDENTS OFFICE REPORT ON LIMITATION 1. The above mentioned Special Leave Petition is filed within time. 2. The Petition is barred by time and there is delay of__________days in filling the same against order dated 07/01/2016. 3. There is delay of _______________ days in refilling the petition and petition for condonation of ___________days delay in refilling has been filed. BRANCH OFFICER PLACE: NEW DELHI DATED:
  3. 3. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (Under Article 136 of the Constitution of India) SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. OF 2016 [Arising out of the Impugned Order dated 07.01.2016 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in LPA 24/2015] In the matter of: POSITION OF PARTIES HIGH COURT SUPREME COURT 1. Commodore Lokesh K Batra, Social and RTI Activist, R/o H-02, Sector-25, Jalvayu Vihar, Noida-201301 (U.P.) Respondent No. 1 Petitioner VERSUS 1. The Registrar General, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110001 Appellant Respondent No. 1 2. CPIO, Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi- 110001 Respondent No. 2 (Proforma) Respondent No. 2 (Proforma) 3 Appellate Authority (RTI), Supreme Court of India, Tilak Marg, New Delhi-110001 Respondent No. 3 (Proforma) Respondent No. 3 (Proforma) Respondent No. 1 is a Contesting Respondent and Respondent No. 2 & 3 are Proforma Respondents. To The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India And His Hon’ble Companion Justices of The Hon’ble Supreme Court Of India The humble Special Leave Petition of the Petitioner above named:
  4. 4. MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH: 1. The Petitioner is filing the present Special Leave Petition against the impugned Order dated 07.01.2016 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in LPA 24/2015 whereby the High Court has allowed the LPA filed by Respondent No. 1 herein and has set aside the order dated 04.12.2014 passed by the Ld. Single Judge of Delhi High Court in WPC 6634 of 2011. It is submitted that no intra-court appeal or LPA lies before the High Court against the order passed the division bench of the High Court. 2. QUESTIONS OF LAW I. Did the High Court err in holding that if a piece of information that is not available in the manner/form in which its collation is directed by the CIC, the right to information under the RTI Act, 2005 (Hereinafter “the Act”) which is a fundamental right will be denied despite firstly, the information, in fact, being available with the respondent and secondly, the information in question having been recognized crucial in upholding the provisions of the Act as has been established by the Supreme Court in Anil Rai v State of Bihar (2001) 7 SCC 318? II. Did the High Court err in determining the extent of the power of the Central Information Commissioner while complying with its authority under Section 19(8)(a) of the Act in issuing an order to the Respondent to perform its obligation of maintaining data in a form that would ease the access to information despite the fact that the respondent has not demonstrated that the form in which information is sought would disproportionally divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question? III. Did the court err in interpreting the meaning of “information” required by the CIC to be collated as not the information held by any public authority
  5. 5. as has been described under Section 2 (j) of the Act but information held by it in the exact form in which CIC has ordered its collation? IV. Did the High Court err in interpreting the law laid down in CBSE v Aditya Bandopadhya & Ors (2011) 8 SCC 497 which states: “the RTI Act provides access to all information that is available and existing…But where the information sought is not a part of the record of a public authority, and where such information is not required to be maintained under any law or rules or regulations of the public authority, the Act does not cast an obligation upon the public authority, to collect or collate such non available information and then furnish it to an applicant…” wherein the embargo on collecting or collating information only applies to information that is not already existing? V. Has the court erred in understanding that the manner in which public authorities are to publish information is a manner that would facilitate ease in access and thereby, right to information by general public? VI. Did the court err in not taking cognizance of the fact that similar information as sought from the Supreme Court when was sought by the petitioner from the High Court, the PIO of the Hon’ble High Court did collate the said data from various Court Masters and provided the information to the petitioner? 3. DECLARATION IN TERMS OF RULE 3 (2) The Petitioner states that no other Petition seeking leave to appeal has been filed by him against the final judgment and order of the Hon’ble Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi, dated 07.01.2016 passed in Letters Patent Appeal No. 24/2015 titled “The Registrar, Supreme Court of India v Commodore Lokesh K. Batra & Ors.” 4. DECLARATION IN TERMS OF RULE 5
  6. 6. The annexures produced along with the SLP are true copies of the pleadings/documents, which formed part of the record of the case in the High Court below against whose order leave to appeal is sought for in this Petition. 5. GROUNDS A. That the information, the collation of which has been ordered by the CIC is so crucial to the functioning of any court that its non-availability is close to inconceivable. B. That the nature of the information regarding the period for which judgments are reserved (as directed by the CIC to be published by the respondent) comes well within the definition of “information” in Section 2(f) of the Act, that such information is of interest to a socially sensitive citizen who pays taxes that contribute to the upkeep of the registry of the Supreme Court, that the data affects the citizens of India as slow disposal of cases is a problem plaguing the Indian judiciary system hence information regarding the reasons for the same is crucial in determining the status of growth in the judicial system and that the same is infact easily available with the respondent. Anil Rai vs State of Bihar (2001) 7 SCC 318 observed: “…The dismal picture depicted before us on the basis of the facts of these appeals is that a few Judges in some High Courts, after conclusion of the arguments, keep the files withheld with them and do not pronounce judgments for periods spread over years… … Delay in disposal of the cases facilitates the people to raise eye- brows, some time genuinely which, if not checked, may shake the confidence of the people in the judicial system… “Under the prevalent circumstances in some of the High Courts, I feel it appropriate to provide some guidelines regarding the pronouncement of
  7. 7. judgments which, I am sure, shall be followed by all concerned, being the mandate of this Court. Such guidelines, as for present, are as under: (i) The Chief Justices of the High Courts may issue appropriate directions to the Registry that in case where the judgment is reserved and is pronounced later, a column be added in the judgment where, on the first page, after the cause-title, date of reserving the judgment and date of pronouncing it be separately mentioned by the court officer concerned…” The court laid down further guidelines regarding the procedure to be followed in case of reservation of and delay in passing of judgments. C. That the Act does not merely recognize the right of a citizen to obtain copies of records held by a public authority but recognizes the citizen’s right to obtain information, which as laid down in Sections 2(f) and 2(j) is a larger category. Hence unless a piece of information sought for is met with exceptions from disclosure of information in Section 8 of the Act, which does not include information asked in a manner not available with the public authority, the public authority is obligated to provide the information sought for. The manner of holding of information cannot be used as an argument to deny the very right of a citizen to obtain information. Hence, CIC has the authority in exercise of its jurisdiction under Section 19 of the Act to require the public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of this Act in facilitating ease in exercising right to such information by ordering computerization of the data. According to Section 19(8)(a) of the RTI Act: “(8) In its decision, the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, has the power to— (a)
  8. 8. require the public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of this Act, including— (i) by providing access to information, if so requested, in a particular form;” (iii) by publishing certain information or categories of information. (iv) by making necessary changes to its practices in relation to the maintenance, management and destruction of records;” D. That the only exception for not providing the information in the manner in which its collation is directed, is if it disproportionately diverts the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question under Section 7(9) of the Act none of which has been demonstrated by the respondent as a hindrance in performing its statutory obligation of recording the information in the said manner. E. That the law laid down in CBSE v Aditya Bandopadhya & Ors regarding there being no obligation on public authorities to collect and collate information only applies to the information that is not available with them or not recorded by them, hence does not apply to the case of the respondent wherein the information to be collated is available with the respondent as the data regarding the period for which a judgment is reserved is so fundamental to the functioning of any court that without its proper record a court’s working may suffer hugely. F. That cognizance of the fact that when similar information as sought from the Supreme Court was sought by the petitioner from the High Court, the PIO of the Hon’ble High Court collated the said data from various Court Masters and provided the information to the petitioner has not been taken by the division bench of the High Court in the impugned order.
  9. 9. 6. GROUNDS FOR INTERIM RELIEF A. That the petitioner herein as a good prima facie case and balance of convenience is in his favour. It is submitted that no prejudice would be caused to the respondents if the order of the division bench of the High Court is stayed during the pendency of the instant SLP. 7. MAIN PRAYER For the reasons aforesaid and those that may be urged at the time of hearing it is most respectfully prayed that the Hon’ble Court be pleased to: A. Grant Special Leave to Appeal to the petitioner under Article 136 of the Constitution against the impugned Order dated 07.01.2016 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in LPA 24/2015. B. Pass such other and further order or orders as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case. 8. INTERIM PRAYER For the reasons aforesaid and those that may be urged at the time of hearing it is most respectfully prayed that the Hon’ble Court be pleased to: A. Grant ex-parte ad-interim stay of the impugned order dated 07.01.2016 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in LPA 24/2015. B. Pass such other and further order or orders as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case. AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS THE PETITIONER AS IN DUTY BOUND SHALL EVER PRAY. PETITIONER Through: PRASHANT BHUSHAN Counsel for the Petitioner Drawn by: Pranav Sachdeva Drawn and Filed on: January 2016 New Delhi

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