Online declaration of judge's assets “still under consideration”

J. Venkatesan - The Hindu dated 16th October 2009

Rights activist seeks point-wise reply to his application

He also wants copy of the August 26 resolution

New Delhi: The matter regarding finalisation of proforma etc. for putting the details of declaration of assets by judges on the Supreme Court website, is still under consideration, according to the Central Principal Information Officer, Supreme Court, Raj Pal Arora.

Mr. Arora stated this in his reply dated October 10 to an application filed by rights activist Subash Chandra Agrawal, seeking details on declaration of assets by judges.

In his application dated September 17, Mr. Agrawal sought the following information: “Is it true that judges of the Supreme Court have decided to make public details of their assets and wealth, together with those of their spouses and children, by putting all these details on the website of the Supreme Court? If yes, please inform about the time these details will be put on the Supreme Court website; periodicity/mode of updating these details about assets and wealth of judges of Supreme Court.”

Mr. Agrawal also sought a copy of the details of the assets and wealth of all the judges (including those of the Chief Justice of India) of the Supreme Court together with those of their spouses and children as presently available with the CJI or at the Supreme Court. He also wanted any other related information and file-notings on movement of this RTI petition.

Reply vague

Not satisfied with Mr. Arora’s reply, Mr. Agrawal filed an appeal on Thursday before M. K. Gupta, Registrar and Appellate Authority, contending that the CPIO, instead of replying to the information as sought in the RTI petition, in accordance with Section 7(9) of the RTI Act, had replied in vague that the matter regarding finalisation of proforma etc. for putting the details of declaration of assets by judges on website of the Supreme Court “is still under consideration.” He sought a direction to the CPIO to provide a point-wise reply in accordance with section 7(9) of the RTI Act.

He also wanted a copy of the resolution dated August 26 passed by the Full Court of the Supreme Court in this regard.

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