New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has stayed the Central Information Commission's order which had held that the advice tendered by the Law and Justice Ministry to various government departments is not in "fiduciary capacity" and should not be withheld from public on that ground.

A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi also issued a notice to the RTI applicant on whose plea the CIC had passed the order and listed the matter on March 2, 2012.

The court's direction came on a plea by Ministry of Law and Justice challenging the CIC's order saying it had been passed in complete violation of the RTI law.

The transparency panel was hearing a plea of RTI applicant Rajiv Ranjan Verma seeking to know the advice tendered by the Law Ministry to Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) on action sought against an IAS probationer from Bihar Cadre.

"The Commission shall take this opportunity to clarify that the records of any advice/opinion tendered by the Respondent Ministry to other government departments do not fall under the category of information available to the Law Ministry in fiduciary capacity," Information Commissioner Sushma Singh had said in her order.

The Law Ministry had refused to disclose the advice saying it is held by the department from where the file has originated.

The Central Public Information Officer had also said that the advice tendered by the Ministry is given in fiduciary capacity and hence cannot be disclosed as per provisions of the RTI Act.

"The Respondent (Law Ministry) has also mentioned that the advice tendered by itself to any Department/Ministry is in the fiduciary capacity," Singh had said.

(Agencies)