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Supreme Court rejects plea seeking details of Collegium meeting, says only final decision needs to be made public, not discussions

RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj had sought a copy of the agenda, a copy of the decisions, and a copy of the Resolution of the meeting of the Collegium of the Supreme Court held on December 12, 2018.

The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea seeking a copy of the agenda, a copy of the decisions, and a copy of the resolution of a 2018 Collegium meeting and clarified that only a resolution drawn and signed by all the Collegium members could be said to be the final decision.

A bench of justice MR Shah and CT Ravikumar rejected RTI activist Anjali Bhardwaj’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court order. The top court said that there was no substance in the plea challenging the Delhi High Court order and the same deserves to be dismissed. SC clarified whatever is discussed in the Collegium meeting shall not be in the public domain and “only final decision required to be uploaded,”

SC also clarified that the consultation of December 12, 2018 was not concluded and was, therefore, adjourned.

The petitioner Anjali Bhardwaj, in the RTI application, had sought a copy of the agenda, a copy of the decisions, and a copy of the Resolution of the meeting of the Collegium of the Supreme Court held on December 12, 2018.

The court said that only after the final resolution drawn and signed by the Collegium, which is always after completing the due procedure and process of discussion, deliberation and consultation, is the same required to be published on the Supreme Court website.

The court noted that no final decision was taken in the December 2018 Collegium meeting which was required to be drawn and signed by all members of the Collegium.

The court also said that the 2019 resolution is very clear which specifies that the process of consultation in the earlier meeting was not over and remained unconcluded.

The petitioner Anjali Bhardwaj, who was represented by advocate Prashant Bhushan and Ria Yadav, challenged the order dated July 27 2022 of the High Court of Delhi, which dismissed his plea for information under the Right to Information Act.

The appellant in the RTI Application had sought a copy of the agenda, a copy of the decisions, and a copy of the Resolution of the meeting of the Collegium of the Supreme Court held on December 12, 2018.

According to petition the resolution of the subsequent meeting affirms that there was indeed an agenda of the previous collegium meeting of 12.12.2018 and further that certain decisions were indeed taken and this was also affirmed through the public statements of Justice (Retd.) Madan Lokur and the statements made in the autobiography written by former Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi (who were both members of the collegium as of 12.12.2018). In such circumstances, it cannot be held that the information does not exist, the petitioner said. 

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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