Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam on Wednesday rejected Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal’s view that accountability process in judiciary was exceptionally weak, saying all complaints against judges are dealt according to the existing mechanism.
At present, no request of the government or any of its agencies is pending in the Supreme Court, he said. “I have utmost regard for our honorable Law Minister. Unfortunately he was not given accurate and proper information about the role of judges and how the judiciary functions.
“The mechanism to deal with complaints against sitting judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts is provided in the in-house procedure,” he said in his valedictory address during CVC’s golden jubilee celebrations.
He was referring to Sibal’s remarks on Tuesday that the process of accountability within the judiciary was “exceptionally weak”.
“Unless the CJI in his individual capacity grants sanction, there can be no process of investigation. And, therefore, you see very few instances of people being brought to book,” the minister had said.
Sathasivam spoke in detail about the procedure in place to deal with such cases against judges of Supreme Court, high courts and other subordinate courts and employees working under them.
The complaints received by the CJI are examined and ultimately if it is found that deeper probe is required into the allegations contained, a three-member committee is constituted for making fact-finding inquiry, he said.
“If the Committee reports that the misconduct disclosed is so serious as to call for initiation of proceedings for removal of the concerned judge, the Chief Justice of India may advise the concerned judge to resign or seek voluntary retirement or withdraw judicial work and the government may be intimated that this has been done since allegations are so serious as to warrant initiation of proceedings for removal of the concerned judge,” he said.
“A copy of the report is furnished to the concerned judge. At present, no request of the government or any of its agencies is pending in the Supreme Court,” he said.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.