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    11 years of struggle to get the names of all the judges in Gujarat- finally Court makes its own officer supply info under RTI

      Eleven years after a lawyer sought details under the Right to Information Act from the Gujarat high court, the HC directed its public information officer (PIO) to furnish the details to the applicant.

    According to the commission's advocate, Shivang Shukla, an advocate, Kamlesh Bhavsar, had in 2007 sought information regarding appointment of judges to the Gujarat judiciary since 1990. The PIO supplied information regarding corruption charges against judicial officers and about their convictions within the time limit.

    However, the PIO refused to supply information on Bhavsar's request to furnish the names of all the judges - from the rank of judicial magistrate first class in the lower courts to the justices of the high court - appointed between 1990 and 2007. The PIO told the lawyer that he has asked for the information from the branches concernedand collating the details would take more time. He said he would supply information about the appointments as and when he got the details.

    On the PIO's refusal to part with the information at the same time, citing the delay in collating the details, Bhavsar filed an appeal before the state information commission, seeking a reply from the HC PIO about the applicant's grievance. In reply to commission's query, the HC's PIO explained his position and sent the details that had been collated to the commission, for it to supply to the lawyer. The PIO sent the information to the commission and requested it to supply the details to advocate Bhavsar, if it thought it fit.

    The commission ordered the HC PIO to supply the information to the lawyer. This did not go down well with the HC authorities and the registry challenged the commission's order on the judicial side in 2011. The HC last week dismissed its own petition.

    While directing the PIO to supply the information to the lawyer under RTE laws, Justice A J Desai dismissed the petition filed by the high court itself, in which it had challenged the directions issued to the HC by the Gujarat Information Commission, for furnishing the required information to the lawyer.

     



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