Shorthand notebooks are not to be retained and they cannot be treated as part of judicial record
Delhi High Court has held that Shorthand note book in which stenographer of a Court takes dictation from the Judge is not a “record” held by a public authority.
Bench ruled that for this reason a copy of it cannot be sought under the Right to Information Act.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva observed that the shorthand notebooks are not retained in routine and hence they cannot be treated as part of judicial record. At the most they are only memos of dictation given by a Judge.
Delhi High Court upheld the March 2016 order of Central Information Commission (CIC) whereby petitioner was denied copies of shorthand notes taken in the High Court on May 27, 2013.
The Public Information Officer of the High Court had denied information on the pretext that the shorthand notes are not retained.
The RTI’s first appellate authority also upheld this decision.
As per petitioner, on May 27, 2013 there was a strike by the Bar and no litigant appeared before the court. But on that day a bench of the High Court went on to pass an ex-parte injunction order against them in a suit initiated by a American company.
High Court relied on a full bench judgement of the HC, it is ruled that even a draft judgment signed and exchanged is not to be considered as final judgment.
Such orders are only a tentative view which are liable to be changed and hence there is no question of considering a short hand dictation as Judicial Record, Bench said.
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