SC directs HCs to set up Online RTI Portals in 3 Months

TNI Bureau: The Supreme Court on Monday while hearing a petitions seeking for e-filing Right to Information (RTI) to be established in all state high courts directed the State High Courts to set up the online RTI Portals within three months.

A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala passed the direction. The Chief Justice of India said that the Supreme Court has already set up online RTI portals. Therefore every State High Court must do the same.

As many as 18 states have filed replies over setting up of the Online RTI Portals, the Chief Justice said adding that while some are awaiting infrastructural facilities, some are in the process.

He further said that the petitioner invoked jurisdiction of this court under article 32 seeking direction to all registrar general of HCs to establish and operationalize RTI portal both for district judiciary and the High court.

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“Union of India has already established an RTI online portal where info can be obtained from each ministry and some states have also operationalized RTI portals. At the present info being sought from any court or district court has to make a physical application in absence,” the Bar & Bench said on its Twitter handle.

“It is asserted that Chief justice of high courts can ensure rules are framed to hear appeals arising out of the orders of the RTI portal. Section 2(1) of the act states that the person shall make an application by writing or by electronic means, this provision indicates that RTI applicant has a statutory right to make an application by electronic means. SC has recently established an online RTI portal to facilitate supply of information and online facility would facilitate fulfillment of objectives of the RTI act,” it added.

After lapse of 17 years, some high courts still await to operationalize the wensites for this pupose. Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha has established website for RTI. The Karnataka State is also using the state government portal for the same.

The Supreme Court said that the HC can formulate adequate provisions to facilitate supply of adequate information. It also said that the information should be passed onto the secretary generals of HC for administrative directions from the chief justices. Same directions to be sought from CJs for the district judiciary where NIC shall provide all technical and expert support, it said.

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