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SC clerkships NLU pref challenge: Delhi HC supports petitioner’s RTI to SC

Supreme Court: Selecting clerks
Supreme Court: Selecting clerks
Exclusive: The High Court (HC) of Delhi today said that the Supreme Court’s public information officer (PIO) could not refuse to disclose the SC’s judicial clerks’ selection procedure under a Right to Information (RTI) request because there was a pending writ that challenged the same procedure.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher’s order was made today in the case of Phaguni Nilesh Lal – an AIL Mohali student who had challenged the selection procedure last month.

Lal was ineligible to apply for the judicial clerkship because she was not from a law college “approved” by the SC. The list of approved law colleges presently includes the 14 national law schools.

Before filing the writ, Lal had on 14 January addressed an RTI query to the Supreme Court seeking a list of the empanelled law colleges and the criteria adopted for empanelment. The SC yesterday declined her query reasoning that Section 8(1) of the RTI Act prevented them from providing information because of the pending writ.

Shakdher in today’s order clarified that the HC “had not injuncted” the PIO from disclosing the information.

Lal would now be able to re-apply for the information under the RTI.

The next hearing in the challenge is posted for 19 March.

Advocates Rajeev Sharma, Uddyam Mukherjee and Sahil Bhalaik are appearing for Lal, while additional solicitor general AS Chandhiok is arguing for the SC's registrar.

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