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‘Some people call themselves RTI activists, is that an occupation?’ CJI Bobde goes off at Prashant Bhushan

Prashant Bhushan answered that he will 'apply his mind for a solution'.

Chief Justice Bobde appears to be losing patience with the ‘PIL activists’. After telling the petitioners seeking a judicial inquiry into the police action at Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh University that students have no right to take the law into their hands just because they happen to be students, the Chief Justice took aim at the perennially disgruntled Prashant Bhushan when one of his pleas came up for hearing.

The plea in question was related to an earlier petition Prashant Bhushan had filed regarding the appointment of Information Commissioners pertaining to the RTI Act in states. The PIL activist alleged that the functionality of the RTI Act was deliberately being stalled. The CJI responded that are some serious apprehensions about RTI, he asserted that people who have nothing to do with the issue seek information. Appearing annoyed at Bhushan, Justice Bobde said, “Some people call themselves RTI activists. Tell me, is that an occupation?”

The Chief Justice emphasized that he had nothing against the flow of information but he was concerned that those who have nothing to do with an issue want information on the matter. Having another go at Bhushan, Justice Bobde said, “Every day someone seeks information, and you are behind them. There should be some sort of filter.”

Justice Bobde expressed concern that the information could be used to blackmail people. He also said there should be no abuse of the law. Prashant Bhushan answered that he will ‘apply his mind for a solution’.

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