HC judge voluntarily declares assets
Chandigarh: In the midst of a raging
controversy over declaration of assets by judges, a Punjab and
Haryana High Court judge has voluntarily made public the list
of his properties while advocating setting up of an in-house
mechanism within the judiciary to regulate its conduct.
Justice K Kannan was the only judge of the High Court
who responded to a letter from lawyer and activist Prashant
Bhushan to judges in January suggesting that they should
voluntarily disclose their assets.
Bhushan today said he had sent his letter to about 600
judges of various High Courts in the country, but only Justice
Kannan declared his assets.
The judge is reportedly to have declared that he has
Rs 1.03 lakh in bank deposits, investment of Rs 3.87 lakh and
Rs 10.59 lakh as deposits in his wife`s name.
Kannan said there were other dimensions to the issue
of making public assets of judges, including who should a
judge be answering to on how he has got the wealth, what do
you do with corrupt judges and whether "a full-fledged roving
enquiry" should be made about the antecedents of a judge
before he is appointed.
"Let us evolve mechanisms within the judiciary itself
to regulate its conduct. If the existing mechanism is
perceived as not being successful in preventing corruption in
the judiciary, let us evolve better procedures for their
recruitment and removal. That will give us answer to who shall
access the records of assets of judges," Kannan said in his
The disclosure came days after a Karnataka High Court
judge wrote in national daily that it was a misnomer that the
judges of superior courts are not ready to disclose their
assets and the Chief Justice of India had no authority to
speak for all judges of superior courts.
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