Gujarat Information Commission's Order Seeking Judges’ Info Scraped

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Gujarat Information Commission’s Order Seeking Judges’ Info Scraped

| Updated: January 18, 2023 11:30

The Gujarat High Court revoked a state information commission judgement requiring the HC administration to provide information regarding transfers, responses to complaints, and the grounds for dismissing certain judicial officers in accordance with the Right to Information Act on Tuesday.

After agreeing with the court’s counsel Hemang Shah’s argument that the commission could not have directed the HC administration to provide information pertaining to third parties in light of the embargo imposed by section 8(1)(j) of the Act, Justice Biren Vaishnav set aside the Gujarat Information Commission’s (GIC) order. 

He also defended the decision of the public information officer to withhold information about other judges from Pareshkumar Godigajbar, the applicant judge. He further asserted that the law forbids the disclosure of any personal data that is unrelated to any activity or interest of the public.

Judge Godigajbar requested 19 various types of material in his application dated February 17, 2014, including the specifics of the high court’s rulings about the transfer, measures against some judicial officers, and justifications for terminating other judicial officers. The PIO filed an appeal after taking some time to compile the data and present it before the judge.

The high court PIO then disclosed some material and kept others, claiming that they related to a third party and were prohibited from being disclosed by law.

On June 23, 2014, the information commission ordered the HC’s PIO to release the information within 15 days. The HC administration disputed this order before a judicial bench.

The court ruled that the information commission’s order was unlawful and in violation of the RTI Act’s provisions, which provide that personal information that is unrelated to any activity or interest of the public is exempt from disclosure requirements. 

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