Judges’ Bill gets Cabinet clearance
The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill which for the first time seeks to allow citizens to complain against corrupt judges and provides a crucial role to the government in their removal.delhi Updated: Oct 05, 2010 23:58 IST
The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill which for the first time seeks to allow citizens to complain against corrupt judges and provides a crucial role to the government in their removal.
The Judges Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, is the fourth attempt in seven years to fix a mechanism to probe allegations of corruption and misconduct against Supreme Court and High Court judges.
“The bill will address the concerns regarding the need to ensure greater accountability of the higher judiciary...” I&B Minister Ambika Soni said.
The bill seeks to replace the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968 — the existing law that lays down the procedure for removal of judges through impeachment by moving a motion in either House. “We have incorporated all provisions of the 1968 Act,” said a Law Ministry official.
It remains to be seen if the opposition will go along in getting the bill passed in parliament.
The bill seeks to allow the common man to file complaints against judges with riders. “Any person making an allegation of misbehaviour or incapacity in respect of a judge may file a complaint but shall have to refer to the source of information,” states section 7 of the bill.
The complaints will first be looked into by a scrutiny panel. If it finds merit in a complaint, the matter can be referred to the Oversight Committee, which will form a panel to probe the allegations. If these are proved, the matter would be referred to the President, who would forward it to the government. “The Centre may move a motion in either House seeking removal of the judge,” says section 46 of the Bill.