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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Supreme Court judges decide to make personal assets public

Supreme Court judges decide to make personal assets public

Zeenews Bureau August 26, 2009

New Delhi: The row over declaration of assets by judges appeared to
have been resolved on Wednesday evening as the judges of the apex
court decided to declare their personal assets on Internet.

The twenty-five member judges’ collegium of Supreme Court of India
took the decision of declaring their personal assets, their net worth
etc on the official website of SC.

The decision was taken unanimously at the end of a two-three hour
meeting in Delhi over the contentious issue that has threatened to rip
Indian judiciary from the centre. Some High Court judges, including
Karnataka HC judge Justice DV Shylendra Kumar, declared his assets and
liabilities in defiance of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan’s opinion on
the matter.

The CJI has maintained till now that his office is beyond the purview
of RTI applications, one of which had demanded to know whether the
judges were declaring their assets.

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee welcomed the move and said it
would go a long way in raising the profile of Indian judges.

Ambiguity however remains over whether High Court judges are on-board
with this decision. “There is no problem with the judges declaring
their assets,” he told reporters here today. But there should be a
consensus on the issue, he added.

Balakrishnan had said on Monday he would want a consensus on the
issue. The decision by the collegium will go in that direction now.

“If the judges want to declare their assets, no one can prevent
(them). How can I prevent. If the law comes everybody has to declare,”
he had said on Sunday.

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