Govt moves to stem corruption in judiciary | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt moves to stem corruption in judiciary

The Cabinet on Tuesday will consider four key changes proposed by a parliamentary panel in the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, which for the first time allows citizens to complain against corrupt judges, and also seeks to streamline the procedure for removal of judges.

delhi Updated: Dec 13, 2011 02:13 IST
Nagendar Sharma

The Cabinet on Tuesday will consider four key changes proposed by a parliamentary panel in the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, which for the first time allows citizens to complain against corrupt judges, and also seeks to streamline the procedure for removal of judges.

The Cabinet is set to discuss amendments in the judicial accountability bill, along with changes in the whistleblower’s bill. It will also consider the draft grievance redressal bill (known as the citizens charter).

The government hopes to address the issue of corruption in the judiciary with the bill.

A controversial recommendation of the parliamentary panel that judges should be debarred from making “unwarranted oral comments” in open courts against other constitutional authorities while hearing cases has been accepted by the government.

The law ministry, in its Cabinet note seeking the nod for changes in the bill, has supported the parliamentary standing committee's view.”

According to the bill, in such cases, the judge would be rendering himself liable for “judicial misconduct.”

The government has also proposed to make it mandatory for judges to stay away from maintaining “close relations or close social interaction” with lawyers of the same court.

Another recommendation of the panel to incorporate a necessary provision to have in- camera (secret) proceedings of the committee that will scrutinise complaints against judges, has also been accepted by the government.

The House panel report had stated such an arrangement was necessary to ensure that the judge in question does not face "unwarranted defamation" in the initial stage of investigation.

The legal arm of the government is also in agreement with the panel to reduce the punishment and imposition of a fine against those individuals, whose complaints against judges would be found to be frivolous.

The latest proposal includes three months of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs1 lakh. The government had earlier proposed to send those filing wrong complaints against judges to jail for five years.

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