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    Re: Supreme Court Evasive on Asset Declaration by Judges


    It sends the message that ,not withstanding IT revolution and high GDP growth,as for as human values are concerned India still is a third world country nurturing illusionary feudal lords.


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  2. #10
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    Re: Supreme Court Evasive on Asset Declaration by Judges


    Times of India, Mumbai edition dtd 22-04-08 report:
    New Delhi: Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Monday disagreed with Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan’s views that the Right To Information Act was not applicable to his office. “I am not questioning the Chief Justice. He is a high constitutional functionary. But since you ask me, I feel we should not keep anything back from people,” he said. In a democracy, he said, people occupy the central position and insisted that once such information is denied, then “there is scope for speculation which may affect the credibility of the institution”. Disputing Balakrishnan’s views that constitutional functionaries are not covered under the RTI, he said, “Everything’s under the constitution or should be under the constitution. The question is whether people are entitled to know.” AGENCIES.
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

  3. #11
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    Re: Supreme Court Evasive on Asset Declaration by Judges


    Property details filed by public servants ARE TO BE DISCLOSED.

    (I know that capitalising one's words in a post means I am shouting - but that is exactly what I am doing, hoping that the "powers that be" can hear me and read !)

    Yesterday, there was a discussion on this issue on Timesnow TV Channel. Some of you might have watched it. Participants were Ex Chief Justice of India Justice Patnaik, Mr Harish Salve & Ms Pinky Anand (both eminent lawyers of the Supreme Court) and Mr Sailesh Gandhi (RTI Activist). All of them (including Mr Arnab Goswami the panel moderator) agreed many times that Property Returns of Judges and other Public Servants cannot be disclosed except for those people who are filing them as affidavits, while filing nominations for elections.

    UNFORTUNATELY, they are all wrong !

    Please read, spend 50% of your time on RTI, study, think and then talk ! Please do not misinform the viewers and other citizens.

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_20032008_14.pdf

    This Bench, however, holds that Annual Property Returns by government employees are in the public domain and hence there seems to be no reason why they should not be freely disclosed. This should also be considered as a step to contain corruption in government offices since such disclosures may reveal instances where property has been acquired which is disproportionate to known sources of income. The Commission, therefore, directs the Respondents to provide copies of property returns asked for by the Appellant to him by 10 April 2008.

    Further, in another matter, CIC did not allow disclosure of property details under "technical grounds" BUT held that:

    http://www.cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Dec...0072006_14.pdf

    However, all public authorities are urged that in order to open the property returns of all public servants to public scrutiny, the public authorities may contemplate a new and open system of filing and retention of such returns. The public servants may be advised
    in advance that their property returns shall be open and no more confidential. The property return forms may be so designed as to give only such transactions and assets
    related details, which may not violate civil servants’ right to privacy. These steps may bring the curtain down on the rather vexed question of how private is the information
    given in “property returns” or that it is a public information, which is not private at all.

    The above was way back on 10th July 2006 !

    But we Indians have a disease and it is called "
    diarrhea of words but constipation of action".

    I wish eminent people who say they know all about RTI should at least spend time studying it before talking.


    Twitter: @cjkarira

  4. #12
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    Re: Supreme Court Evasive on Asset Declaration by Judges



    In addition to all the existing provisions making public servnts submition of their property return obligatory, I draw the attention to Section 22, of the Kerala Lok Ayukta Act 1999. This is made iwith common principles and most of the state Lok Ayukta Acts are bound to have this provision.

    22. Public servants to submit prperty statement:

    (1) Every public servant, other than a Government servant or a last grde employee in the service and pay of any establishment coming under items(A) to (F)of sub-Section(vii) of clause (o) of Section 2 shall within six months after the commencement of this Act, and thereafter before the 30th day of June once in two years submit to the competent authority in the prescribed form, a satatement of his assets and liabilities and those of the members of his family.

    (2) If no such statement is receivd by the competent authority from any such public serant, within the time specified in sub-section (1), the competent authority shall make a report to that effect to the Lok Ayukta or the Upa-Lok Ayukta , as the case may be, and send a copy of the report to the public servant concerned. If within two months of such report, the public servant concerned does not submit such statement, the Lok-Ayukta or the Upa-Lok Ayukta as the case may be, shall publish, or cause to be published the name of such public servant in three newspapers having wide circulation in the State.

    Are you not surprised with the statements of Hon'ble CJI despite existance of above stringent provision. Has anyone of us seen the defaulters names published the newspaper ?

  5. #13

    Re: Supreme Court Evasive on Asset Declaration by Judges


    There is a very interesting article on this issue with global comparisons in the link siteresources.worldbank.org/INTLAWJUSTINST/Resources/IncomeAssetDisclosure.pdf -

  6. #14
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    SC judges declare assets but details confidential, clarifies CJI


    SC judges declare assets but details confidential, clarifies CJI
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    As Reported in Times of India on 24 Apr 2008
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan on Wednesday tried to defend the judiciary from criticism that judges were reluctant to declare their assets and claimed that contrary to perception, the judges of Supreme Court regularly declared their assets to him which was kept confidential.

    Speaking at the 21st annual Kailash Nath Katju memorial lecture, the CJI took the opportunity to defend the lack of transparency surrounding declaration of assets and maintained that even though judges of SC and HC were not bound by rules to declare their assets it was being done voluntarily.

    "Judges of higher judiciary have declared their assets to me and I am satisfied. It is given in a sealed cover. Judges are moral persons. Only trial court judges are bound by rules to declare assets," the CJI added.
    The CJI's clarification came in response to an issue raised in his speech by eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani.

    Jethmalani had lamented the opacity which shrouds judges appointment and declaration of assets and called for greater transparency in judicial functioning.

    SC judges declare assets but details confidential, clarifies CJI -India-The Times of India

  7. #15
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    Re: Supreme Court Evasive on Asset Declaration by Judges


    There is no question of RELUCTANCE. Every cityzen is under the Constitution and he has no authority to be reluctant not to abide by it. So long as the Conempt of Court Acts is in vogue the judiciary is at liberty to proclaim whatever they wish. One day an enactment in line of the RTI Act will emerge granting its cityzen REAL EQUITY OF JUSTICE - that every cityzen is equal before the law. Let us pray for that day.

  8. #16
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    Re: Supreme Court Evasive on Asset Declaration by Judges


    As reported by Nagender Sharma in hindustantimes.com on 21 April 2008:
    Judges unwilling to share wealth details- Hindustan Times

    Judges unwilling to share wealth details


    The judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts are not willing to divulge details of their wealth and disciplinary action taken against them on corruption and misconduct charges.

    Documents available with HT have revealed that the Supreme Court wanted changes in the Right to Information Act (RTI) to allow appeals seeking judiciary-related information to be decided by court officials only, and not by the Central Information Commission.

    Making public his views on the issue, the Chief Justice of India, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan had made it clear on Saturday that the RTI Act was not applicable to his office. “Constitutional functionaries are not covered under the RTI,” he said.

    However, top jurists, including former Chief Justices of India, J.S. Verma and V.N. Khare have expressed dismay and shock over the reluctance of the Supreme Court and High Courts to provide information sought by the people under RTI.

    “If there is reluctance to provide information, I am willing to be the first to volunteer and see to it that all correspondence regarding appointments and executive actions during my tenure as Chief Justice should be made public,” Justice Verma said.

    Justice Khare said the judiciary could not escape accountability measures, which it wanted others to follow.

    “Everybody holding a constitutional office in this country is accountable, and so are the judges. It is important for them to come clean and be seen as above suspicion,” he said.

    In a letter to the CIC, the Supreme Court had in 2006 said, “No appeal or any other proceedings shall lie against the order of the Chief Justice of India or his nominee. Any appeal arising out of the order passed by an officer of the Supreme Court inferior in rank to Registrar General of the court, shall be before the Registrar General.”

    The CIC, however, did not accept the controversial recommendation and maintained that the right to decide the final appeal lies with the commission.

    The Supreme Court refused to provide information on the number of judges against whom action was taken on complaints of corruption and misconduct.

    “There was no such information available with the court as neither the Supreme Court nor the Chief Justice of India is the appointing or disciplinary authority in respect of superior courts, including High Court judges,” the Supreme Court said in its reply to a RTI query that sought to know the number of judges against whom corruption allegations were probed.

    The reply contradicts Supreme Court’s own resolution adopted in 1999, in a meeting attended by 19 judges, that put in place an in-house procedure for taking “suitable remedial action against judges not following accountability standards”.

    Similarly, in response to a question, which wanted to know if judges were submitting details of their assets to respective Chief Justices, the Supreme Court replied, “The information relating to declaration of assets by hon’ble judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts is not held by or under the control of registry of the court and therefore, cannot be furnished under the RTI Act.”

    The court reply again runs contrary to its own resolution of 1997 on declaration of assets, which was decided in a full meeting attended by 22 judges.
    Twitter: @cjkarira

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