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HindustanTimes Wed,26 Nov 2014

Judges facing impeachment may find it tough to quit

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 08, 2012
First Published: 00:24 IST(8/12/2012) | Last Updated: 00:26 IST(8/12/2012)

The government on Friday said it is in favour of taking a re-look at the law to prevent judges from quitting their jobs once impeachment (removal) proceedings have been initiated against them.

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Law minister Ashwani Kumar informed the Rajya Sabha that the proposed Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill is likely to be fine-tuned to address the problem.

“There is a need to have a re-look into it...these issues cannot be buried under carpet,” Kumar said.

 He was replying to a debate on a private member’s bill, moved by veteran journalist and nominated member HK Dua, who sought an amendment in the constitution to prevent a judge from resigning till any impeachment motion process is completed, citing the case of Soumitra Sen, a former Calcutta high court judge last year.

Earlier, members cutting across party lines including leader of the opposition Arun Jaitley, former law minister Ram Jethmalani and Abhishek Manu Singhvi pushed for amendments in the constitution in this regard.

Dua withdrew the bill after the law minister said the constitutional amendment was not required but assured members that all possible steps would be initiated to bring reforms in the judicial system.

“Lacunae and gaps in the law need to be filled through other methods like possibility of a legislative enactment and amendments in existing laws like Judicial Accountability Bill, presently being formulated. We are fine-tuning it,” Kumar said.


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