Judges should be accountable

judgesSome people wanted to escape from accountability. Some are protected due to their sensitive jobs. Judiciary has the immunity from day-to-day pin pricks. This is given to the guardians of constitution to defend them from any sort of trouble. A professional without protection cannot deliver his duty properly. Unfortunately this magnanimous rule has been misused by few people in the judiciary. In the wave of open information some people are demanding that judges should be brought under the income disclosure and be available for scrutiny. This has pros and cons.

 

With judiciary getting tainted in several corruption cases including the infamous Provident Fund case of Ghaziabad, the demand to include judges in the asset disclosure sounds reasonable. Extreme corruption and nepotism have infiltrated into every sphere of the society. Judiciary is not an exception. Most times India is proud to have efficient and honest judges. Sometimes black cats enter judiciary and spoil the image of the highest rule safeguarding body. They are big blot in the society.

 

Instead of putting a blanket ban on scrutiny of judges there should be efficient mechanism to expose corrupt elements and at the same protect the honest officers. Without a visionary approach to the present problem, judiciary will be messed up. An internal mechanism to monitor the wealth of judges can be installed. Although the vigilance department is meant to tap the illegal eagles in government machinery its efficiency is doubted.

 

Fali S. Nariman the eminent jurist says “Judges of the highest court who have powers to life and death over us citizens, judges who can (and do) send people to jail to jail for contempt of its order must – I repeat must – show that they too are amenable to good practice”

 

“that is how they earn the respect of us commoners. We in India learn by example – never by precept. For judges of the highest court to litigate as to whether or not they should disclose their assets is as bad as judges going to the court on whether it was lawful for income tax to be deducted from the salaries they get! We have good judges, but we need more judicial wisdom”.

 

The Central Information Commission has asked judges to disclose their assets after a petition filled. The Delhi High Court stayed the order and now it has gone to the Supreme Court. Instead of dismissing the petition the Supreme Court must impose a code of self-regulation for judges to maintain integrity. The vigilance department should be active to tap erring judges and pass on the higher authorities for weeding them out immediately.

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