The judges of the Supreme Court and eight high courts may have agreed to do so, but their Allahabad High Court colleagues are not willing to make public their wealth details.
The judges of the Allahabad High Court, the biggest in the country, have passed a resolution — not made public so far — in which they have agreed to provide asset details only to the chief justice of their court, Hindustan Times has learnt.
“The judges have unanimously resolved to declare their assets to the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice. These details will not be posted on the court’s website,” said a top court official, who didn’t wish to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Seventy judges of the court attended the meeting held on September 12.
The official refused comment when asked why the resolution has been kept confidential. “Only the Chief Justice can answer this question, “ he said.
Allahabad is the ninth high court to have taken a decision on the issue of judges’ assets after the Supreme Court
judges surprised everyone on August 26 by agreeing to post wealth details on the court’s website.
Set up in 1866, the Allahabad court has a sanctioned strength of 160 judges. As many as 72 posts are lying vacant. It has a bench in the state capital Lucknow as well.
Of the 21 high courts in the country, 12 are still silent on the asset issue that put the higher judiciary on a backfoot over its reluctance to open itself to scrutiny.
A former Chief Justice of India, V.N. Khare, expressed surprise at the Allahabad judges’ decision.
“What is there to hide? When their senior colleagues in the Supreme Court and other high courts have already done so, the judges of the historic court should not be reluctant,” he said.
B.K. Singh, a former judge of the court, said he found it hard to believe that the Allahabad court, whose judges in 1993 had without any pressure come forward to declare asset details, had passed such a resolution.
So far, the judges of the Delhi, Punjab and Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bombay, Kerala, Madras and Sikkim high courts have passed resolutions to make public their wealth details.