Rafale case Current Affairs - 2020

Former Chief Justice of India takes oath as Rajya Sabha MP

On March 19, 2020, the former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi took oath as the Member of Parliament of Rajya Sabha.

Highlights

The President Shri Ram Nath Kovind nominated Shri Ranjan Gogoi the former Chief Justice of India to fill in the vacancy of the retiring member KTS Tulsi under Article 80.

Ranjan Gogoi

The Former CJI has pronounced famous judgements of the supreme court during his tenure. It includes entry of women in Kerala Sabarimala temple case, Rafale Jets, Assam’s NRC (National Register of Citizens), etc.

KTS Tulsi

KTS Tulsi is a senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India. He is also a politician from the state of Chhattisgarh. He was nominated to the upper house as a member of Indian National Congress. He was nominated to the Upper House by the President in 2014. He had also served as Additional Solicitor General of India in 1990.

Additional Solicitor General of India

The Additional Solicitor General of India gives advice to GoI on legal matters. They appear in the Supreme Court or in other high courts on behalf of the Government.

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RTI Act supersedes Official Secrets Law

Delivering a separate judgment in the Rafale case, Justice K.M. Joseph has made the following observations:

  • The Right to Information Act confers on ordinary citizens the ‘priceless right’ to demand information even in matters affecting national security and relations with a foreign state.
  • Justice Joseph’s judgment countered the claim made by the government for privilege over Rafale purchase documents under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), saying it affected national security and relations with France.
  • Justice Joseph said the Right to Information (RTI) Act overawes the OSA.
  • Under Section 8(2) of the RTI Act, the government cannot refuse information if disclosure in public interest overshadows certain ‘protected interests.’

Justice Joseph in his judgment has stated that through Section 8(2) of the RTI Act, Parliament has appreciated that it may be necessary to pit one interest against another and to compare the relative harm and then decide either to disclose or to decline information. If higher public interest is established, it is the will of Parliament that the greater good should prevail though at the cost of lesser harm being still occasioned.

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