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Judges’ Assets Bill in LS today,not to cover independent kin

The Union Law Ministry is all set to introduce the Judges (Declaration of Assets & Liabilities) Bill,2009,in the Lok Sabha on Monday....

Written by Maneesh Chhibber | New Delhi |
August 3, 2009 5:34:59 am

The Union Law Ministry is all set to introduce the Judges (Declaration of Assets & Liabilities) Bill,2009,in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

According to sources,Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily will try and get the Speaker to waive the mandatory notice period under the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha so that the Bill can be introduced on Monday itself.

However,the possibility of the Bill being passed in the ongoing session of Parliament,which ends on August 7,is bleak.

Once passed,the law will make it mandatory for all judges of the Supreme Court and the state high courts to declare their assets on a yearly basis. However,the details of the statements submitted by the judges would remain secret and nobody would be able to access them under the Right to Information Act.

Authoritative sources told The Indian Express that despite strong views expressed by some ministers and sections of the legal fraternity that the proposed law should make it mandatory for the judges to declare the assets of their “independent” children too,the Bill doesn’t have any such provision.

“Judges will have to submit details of assets of their dependent children and wives only,along with own. How can we ask them to submit details of their independent,major children and kin? No law allows this,” asserted an officer.

The Bill makes it mandatory for judges of high courts to submit details of their assets as well as those of their dependent children and kin to their respective Chief Justices. Judges of the apex court will have to submit similar details to the Chief Justice of India (CJI). As for the CJI,he would have to submit details of his assets as well as those of his dependent kin to the President.

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