In 2019, the Court developed important new guidelines for ensuring fair trials and sentencing in death penalty cases. In ‘Anokhilal’, the Court was grappling with whether the accused had adequate legal representation during his original trial. In ‘Accused X’, the Court was deciding whether to overturn a death sentence on the ground that the accused suffered from post-conviction mental illness.
Last week, the Supreme Court opened up the Office of the Chief Justice of India to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. In a unanimous judgment authored by Justice Sanjiv Khanna, the Court held that the need for judicial independence does not place an absolute bar on information disclosure. Can we expect this to usher in a new era of transparency and accountability?