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Courts cannot take over the powers of the Information Commissioners

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Section 23 is a provision relating to exclusion of jurisdiction of the courts. In terms of this section, no court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceedings in respect of any order made under this Act and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by way of an appeal provided for under this Act. In other words, the jurisdiction of the court has been ousted by express language. Nevertheless, it is a settled principle of law that despite such excluding provision, the extraordinary jurisdiction of the High Court and the Supreme Court, in terms of Articles 226 and 32 of the Constitution respectively, cannot be divested.

It is a jurisdiction incapable of being eroded or taken away by the exercise of legislative power, being an important facet of the basic structure of the Constitution. In L.Chandra Kumar, the Court observed that the constitutional safeguards which ensure the independence of the Judges of the superior judiciary not being available for the members of the Tribunal, such tribunals cannot be considered full and effective substitute to the superior judiciary in discharging the function of constitutional interpretation. They can, however, perform a supplemental role. Thus, all decisions of the tribunals were held to be subject to scrutiny before the High Court under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution. Therefore, the orders passed by the authority, i.e., the Central or the State Information Commissions under the Act of 2005 would undoubtedly be subject to judicial review of the High Court under Articles 226/227 of the Constitution.

In view of the above finding, henceforth, no information seeker can be allowed to insinuate or defame the Commissioners in the guise of prosecuting their cases.

Under such circumstances, when specific power is vested on the Commissioner and the Commission had proceeded against the information seeker, who had abused the Chief Information Commissioner in the course of his proceedings, it will be open to the said authority to disqualify a particular information seeker by passing a speaking order




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