The ongoing spat between the Supreme Court and Central Information Commission (CIC) on divulging details of assets of apex court judges under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has a new entrant the 5,000-member strong Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA).
The lawyers body made its presence felt on Friday before the court of Justice S Ravindra Bhat when the association,in one breath,compared a judge to God in the country,but in the next breath pointed fingers at innumerable events over the past decade which have severely dented the image and faith of the judiciary in the eyes of the general public.
In what seems to be a cutting reply to the Supreme Courts stand that the Full Court Resolution of 1997 taken by 22 judges to divulge details to the Chief Justice of India has no force of law,the HC Bar Association referred to the Constitution of India,which propounds the judiciary to maintain a self code of integrity,public faith and morality.
Explaining the motivation behind the 1997 Resolution,the lawyers body said: One of the primary requirements of judicial administration is that the probity of judges should be beyond reproach. Declaration of assets of judges ensures transparency in income and wealth creation. Thats why 22 judges of the Supreme Court in a Full Court meeting passed a resolution proposing declaration of assets to the Chief Justice.
The Bench on Friday sought the Supreme Court to respond to the application of the DHCBA by March 17,the next date of hearing. A notice has also been issued to the CIC.
On January 23,2009 the Executive Committee of the DHCBA in an urgent meeting considered the question of revelation of judges assets. In the same meeting it was resolved that the Association should intervene, Bar Association president K C Miittal told the court on Friday.
A resolution passed by the association in the meeting said various events over the years had severely dented the image and faith in judiciary.