Page:Anuradha Bhasin vs Union of India and Ors.pdf/23

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who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives".

17. As a general principle, on a challenge being made regarding the curtailment of fundamental rights as a result of any order passed or action taken by the State which is not easily available, the State should take a proactive approach in ensuring that all the relevant orders are placed before the Court, unless there is some specific ground of privilege or countervailing public interest to be balanced, which must be specifically claimed by the State on affidavit. In such cases, the Court could determine whether, in the facts and circumstances, the privilege or public interest claim of the State overrides the interests of the Petitioner. Such portion of the order can be redacted or such material can be claimed as privileged, if the State justifies such redaction on the grounds, as allowed under the law.

18. In the present case, while the State initially claimed privilege, it subsequently dropped the claim and produced certain sample orders, citing difficulty in producing all the orders before this Court. In our opinion, this is not a valid ground to refuse production of orders before the Court.