New Delhi: A proposal seeking to change the present system of investigating complaints of misbehaviour and incapacity against judges of higher judiciary requires "further consultation", government said on Thursday, indicating that a bill in this regard may not come in the immediate future.
Referring to the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill moved by the previous UPA government, Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda told the Lok Sabha that the bill had lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.
"The matter requires further consultation with various stakeholders before it is brought before Parliament again," he said in a written reply.
Though the bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in March, 2012, it had undergone changes in the Rajya Sabha following protests by the judiciary and jurists who had questioned some of its provisions including a ban on making oral observations against constitutional authorities unless it is reflected in the written order. But it could not be passed.
The lapsed bill provided for a comprehensive mechanism for handling complaints made by citizens on grounds of alleged misbehaviour and incapacity against judges of the Supreme Court and high courts. It also provided for a mechanism to take action against those found guilty after investigation. It also laid down judicial standards and made it incumbent on the judges to declare their assets and liabilities.
Responding to a question as to whether government is aware that certain observations of higher courts with regard to constitutional bodies are not being reflected in the written judicial orders, Gowda said, "Various views and observations are made by the higher judiciary during the course of judicial proceedings.
"Whether such observations made by the judiciary get reflected in written judicial order or not, is purely a matter within the domain of the judiciary. The government does not interfere with the independence of the judiciary."