Judicial activists, including former judges and lawyers, are not impressed by the Supreme Court judges’ decision to reveal details of their wealth.
All but one of the apex court’s 22 judges posted the information on the court’s official website on Monday.
Though supporting the step, Justice V N Khare, former chief justice of India, said, “We should be clearly told how often judges will declare their assets. How regularly will the information be updated?”
The judges, initially reluctant, took the step after prolonged public pressure.
“The details of the judges’ wealth are not clear,” said senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who led the campaign to get judges to declare their wealth. “The date on which they bought the properties they have declared has not been given., nor the value of the properties then. The judges have just gone through a formality.”
The legal sanctity of the declarations was also questioned, since they were not made on an affidavit. “How do we know judges are telling the whole truth?” said S.N.P. Sinha, chairman of the Bar Council of India. “A mechanism, perhaps a new law, is needed to ensure that the correct details are filed.”
“The Election Commission’s practice of making poll candidates file affidavits giving their wealth details has been highly successful,” said Bhushan. “The same could have been done with judges.”