Having strongly advocated openness in the judiciary saying “sunlight is the best disinfectant”, Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and 41 other judges of the Delhi High Court made their assets public by posting it online on Friday.
The details are available on www.delhihighcourt.nic.in under the head ‘Assets of Judges’.
They include flats, landed properties, shares, mutual funds, fixed deposits and provident funds owned by them, spouses and in some cases dependants.
Unlike their colleagues in the Supreme Court, the High Court judges have not given details of their personal bank accounts, jewellery and cars or other vehicles they own.
The Supreme Court judges later withdrew details of the bank accounts apprehending vulnerability to cyber crime.
The richest among the judges is Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul who, along with his wife, owns shares in eight landed properties in Kashmir, Delhi and NCR.
He also declared two three-bed room flats in the Commonwealth Games Village purchased in his wife's name. He has also invested in shares and mutual funds.
Justice Shah and his family have assets worth Rs 4.27 crore that included a flat in Samata, Mumbai, where his parents live. He has investments in bank deposits, shares, mutual funds and insurance policies to the tune of Rs 1.02 crore. The remaining investment of Rs 73 lakh was jointly made by him along with family members
The second senior most judge in the HC, Justice Madan B. Lokur, owns two houses in Vasant Kunj in Delhi and Bavdhan in Pune and has Rs 45 lakh in cash.
Third senior most judge Justice Vikramajit Sen’s assets comprise four residential plots, investment in share market and Rs 53.57 lakh.
Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Geeta Mittal are at bottom of list with shares worth Rs 3,390 and Rs 18 lakh in saving schemes, respectively.
Justice Valmiki J. Mehta has, however, refused to disclose details saying he was exercising his right to privacy.
The Delhi HC has thus become the third High Court to make public assets of their judges after Kerala and Madras.
The development took place in the backdrop of Delhi HC’s verdict in which it had said the judges declaration of assets to the their Chief Justices was mandatory and such information should be made public.