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Right to Information Act (RTI)

17 August 2016

A five-judge Constitution bench will decide whether the Supreme Court is exempted from disclosing information including file noting and correspondence on the appointment of judges to higher judiciary and other information under the Right to Information Act (RTI).

19 January 2010

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that the Bar Councils of India too are subject to Right to Information Act (RTI), following hot on the heels of the Office of the Chief Justice of India last week falling under the Act last week.

Various papers reported that the Bar Councils would now come under the purview of RTI.

"It is held that the Bar Councils - Bar Council of India and the State Bar Councils - are public authorities within the RTI Act... the Bar Councils are directed to take all necessary steps to carry out their duties and responsibilities assigned by the RTI Act," information commissioner AN Tiwari told Indian daily DNA.

Although the BCs admitted they were statutory bodies (under the Advocates Act), they denied that they were public authorities and funded wholly or partially by the state. They therefore objected to being subject to transparency requirements.

The CIC would have none of it, for the following reasons.

So, good news, the BCI now has to answer RTI requests. How well they will and whether they will get drowned in applications is another question.

More interestingly, however, what would you really really like to know about the inner workings of your Bar Councils (of India or otherwise)?