After SC, Delhi & Kerala HC judges to make public assets

Last Updated: Friday, August 28, 2009 - 21:36

Kochi: If things go according to plan, the
Kerala High Court will become the first high court in the
country to declare assets of all its judges including the
Chief Justice.

The decision that comes two days after a similar one by
the Supreme Court judges was taken after a full-court meeting

The assets of the 33 judges, including Chief Justice S R
Bannurmath, will be published in the High court website by
September 30 this year, Registrar General D Srivalabhan told
reporters here.

The updated declaration of assets of the Chief Justice
will also be published on the same day, he said.

Under mounting public pressure, the Supreme Court judges
on Wednesday decided to make public their assets, putting
an end to an issue that had been haunting higher judiciary
for quite some time.

The decision comes after months of public debate over
making public the details of higher judiciary, especially the
apex court judges and their families, ever since the Right to
Information law triggered a clamour on the issue.

Delhi HC follows suite

Judges of the Delhi High Court followed suit.

"All the judges are agreeable to make their assets public," a resolution passed at a full court meeting of the Delhi High Court judges here said.

The meeting, convened by Chief Justice A P Shah, passed three-point resolution after the judges were unanimous in deciding to disclose their assets, a top court source said.

The resolution said "modalities and manner of declaration are being finalised".

It also said the judges have been declaring their assets to the Chief Justice since the resolution was passed by the Supreme Court judges on May 7, 2007.
Assets of SC judges to be on website in a month or more: CJI

The Chief Justice of India K G
Balakrishnan today said Supreme Court judges would make their
assets public on the official website in a month or more but
suggested the judges of High Courts cannot be compelled by the
apex judiciary to follow suit.

"It is a unanimous a decision and every judge of the
Supreme Court will disclose his assets," the CJI told media
persons in an interaction in reply to a question about
apprehensions that any apex court judge might decline to adhere
to the decision.

He said the judges of the apex court have been
following the 1997 resolution on declaration of their assets
and they have submitted the statement of assets to the Chief

"We are strictly following the 1997 resolution. The
only thing is that we are not disclosing it to the public. Now
because of the changed circumstances, we will put it on the
website," Balakrishnan said.

The declaration of assets will take sometime as it has
not been updated and the judges want sometime to update it.

"I am giving sometime to get it (statement of assets)
as some of them have not been updated after 2002-03 and judges
want to update them," he said adding the declaration of the
assets on the website will be according to the resolution of

He said the disclosure would be strictly in accordance
with the 1997 resolution and the assets relating to real
estate and investments made even in the name of dependents
would be put on the website.

Asked about the format and the time frame in which
information pertaining to assets would be put on the website,
Balakrishnan said "We have not taken any decision about the
format which will be applied for declaring the assets. It will
take some time. The whole procedure would take a month or

Asked whether the queries would be entertained on the
issue, the CJI said "we have not decided anything on the

Balakrishnan said though the judges of the apex court
has decided to make public their assets, they would abide by
if any law is made by Parliament for declaration of assets.

"It is for Parliament to decide. If any law is
enacted, we have to follow it. We will abide by that," he
replied in response to a question that Law Minister M Veerapa
Moily, while welcoming the decision, had yesterday said that
despite the decision government will enact a legislation.

Asked what made the judges of the apex court to she
fear about declaration of their assets, the CJI said "who said
we have shed the fear?... it will depend upon the reaction of
the people".

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, August 28, 2009 - 21:36

More from zeenews

comments powered by Disqus