Agra News : If you want information under the Right to Information Act from the High Court or any district court subordinate to it, then you can file an RTI application on its online RTI portal. Fees can also be paid online. There will also be a facility to file an online appeal against the Public Information Officer. This order has been given by the bench of Supreme Court Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala on Monday on a public interest writ petition presented in the Supreme Court in the year 2020 on behalf of senior advocate and RTI activist KC Jain of Agra.
Advocate Jain told that at present more than 2500 departments and public authorities are on that portal, but most of the High Courts of the country have not made online RTI portal. No RTI portal has been made for the district courts subordinate to him. The applicants have to face inconvenience. For this, he filed a public interest writ petition in the Supreme Court.
Placed his point before the Supreme Court and told that no High Court has made arrangements for online RTI portal for its District Courts. Delhi and Madhya Pradesh High Courts have made RTI portals for themselves. Chief Justice Chandrachud questioned the advocates of various High Courts as to why the High Courts cannot set up an RTI portal, while the Supreme Court has set up its own RTI portal.
After listening to all the parties, the Supreme Court ordered that in the absence of an online RTI portal, people have to file applications. Whereas under Section-6 of the Right to Information Act, there is a provision for filing applications through electronic means. The High Court is empowered to frame its own RTI Rules under Section-2(e) read with Section-28 of the Act. Therefore, the Registrar General of the High Courts should set up an RTI portal within three months for the High Courts and the District Courts under them and make it functional. Through this, RTI applications and appeals can be made. High Courts can make their own RTI rules. Advocate Jain said that 25 High Courts and about 766 District Courts of the country will come under this order of the Supreme Court. Where now online application can be made to get information.
Another PIL presented by Advocate Jain was also pending before the same bench of the Supreme Court. It has been said in this that government departments and public authorities do not provide all the necessary information on their websites. Which is a violation of Section-4 of the Right to Information Act. The purpose of Section-4 is that information should be automatically available to the people. After listening to this petition also, on the demand of Additional Solicitor General Madhavi Divan, 3 weeks time was given to the Central Government.
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