Law student seeks availability of Supreme Court and Indian Judiciary over the RTI online portal

  • Gargi Chatterjee
  • 03:11 PM, 05 Jan 2022

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the non-availability of the Supreme Court and the Indian Judiciary over the RTI online portal even after 8 years of its enactment.

This petition filed by 5th year law student, Ramey Krishna Rana highlights how the process of physical filing of RTI has been gravely hampered due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and that physical filing of RTI application has become a costly affair in "its truest sense".

The petition states that currently, there is a non-availability of the Indian Judiciary over the RTI online portal which creates a hindrance for an applicant/appellant to obtain information through online mode. In consonance with section 6(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 recognizes the way of filing RTI application through online mode.

Further, the petition further states that unnecessary expenditure is incurred via Manual/paper mode filing which leads to wastage of human resources as well as public funds while all can be eliminated by bringing the Hon’ble Court over the RTI online portal. Also, an online application/appeal does not require further manual entry by the Registry which will typically halt the ongoing tedious and time-consuming process.

The petition further refers to the the E-Committee project initiated by Dr. Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud. It has been contended that the E-Committee is using technology for widening the access of justice in a socially purposive manner. It is aimed at preparing the judiciary for paperless and digital courts. Similarly, such technological development requires to be done in the RTI filing procedures as well. 

It is further contended that the Apex Court reserves its power to make rules for online web portal for RTI applications and appeals arising therefrom in view of Section 2 (h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. The petition calls for a self-contained portal for the Indian judiciary in case the Apex Court cannot be made available over the RTI online portal of Government of India.

“The process of physical filing of RTI has been gravely hampered due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and prompt necessity of RTI online portal has emerged and now in the light of the continued, severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more urgent that the Hon’ble Supreme Court be made available on the RTI online portal,” the petition states.

Thus the petition prayed for the following:

  • Make the Supreme Court of India available over the RTI online portal for hassle-free and cost-effective filing of the RTI applications/appeals as per the RTI Act, 2005.
  • To make the administration, disposal, transfers, and the updating of the status of the RTI applications and appeals a part of the Digital Judiciary change being achieved through the e-initiatives.
  • To equip the RTI branch of the Supreme Court with the present-day technology.
  • In case the Apex Court cannot be made available over the RTI online portal of Government of India then in that event same may be designated over a self-contained portal for the Indian judiciary or the same be accommodated on the Supreme Court’s website.

Case Title: Ramey Krishna Rana v. Union of India