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Third Party Can Access Judgement Copy, Papers Under Court Rules, Not RTI Act, Says SC [Read Judgement]

By Lawstreet News Network      Mar 06, 2020      0 Comments      2,146 Views
Third Party Can Access Judgement Copy

The Apex Court on March 04, 2020 ruled that court documents such as copies of judgements and pleadings can be obtained only if court rules permit it. They cannot be obtained on the basis of Right to Information (RTI) Act of 2005.

“The information is held by the HC as a trustee for the litigants in order to adjudicate upon the matter & administer justice. The same can't be permitted by the third party to have access to such personal information of the parties [litigants] or information given by the govt in the proceedings. Lest, there would be misuse of process of court & the information & it would reach unmanageable levels,” the bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, A S Bopanna & Hrishikesh Roy said.

The Supreme Court bench upheld Rule 151 of the Gujarat HC Rules that allows access to certified copies of judgments, orders and pleadings to a third party or those who are not a party to the case only under the order of an officer of the court.

 “In the absence of inherent inconsistency between provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act & other law, overriding effect of Right to Information (RTI) Act would not apply,” the Supreme court held.

According to the rules, on filing of the application with the prescribed court fees stamp, litigants are entitled to receive copies of documents/judgements etc. Third parties are not given copies of judgements and other documents without assistant registrar's order.

Since the issue before us is the HC Rules vis-a-vis the Right to Information (RTI) Act, we do not propose to refer the various observations of the case…” the bench said.

[Read Judgement]

Author - Dyuti Pandya

Supreme Court of India
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