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House panel against shield for ex-judges

delhi Updated: Nov 02, 2007 02:56 IST
Nagendar Sharma

A parliamentary committee has rejected the Centre’s move to exempt retired judges of the Supreme Court and high courts from any probe into allegations of misconduct against them during their tenures.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice has recommended a two-year post-retirement deadline for conducting inquiries into allegations against former judges. It has rejected the exemption provision for retired judges, mentioned in the Judges Inquiry Bill, 2006.

The Standing Committee report says, “The clause pertaining to retired judges should be deleted as it will create an exemption in favour of a judge who has committed misbehaviour during the last years of his tenure.”

Referring to the refusal of the Supreme Court to order a judicial inquiry against former CJI Y.K. Sabharwal, committee chairman E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan said, “The committee had kept such situations in mind while making a recommendation in this matter, though it was not about any particular judge.”

The Centre had sought the opinion of the judiciary before introducing the bill. “Incidentally, Justice Sabharwal was one of the CJIs consulted, while he was in office,” a law ministry official said.