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Discussion on judge assets declaration bill today

The draft of the controversial bill proposing to make the declaration of assets mandatory for judges of the Supreme Court and high courts will come up for discussion in the Union Cabinet on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jul 20, 2009 23:43 IST
HT Political Bureau

The draft of the controversial bill proposing to make the declaration of assets mandatory for judges of the Supreme Court and high courts will come up for discussion in the Union Cabinet on Tuesday.

The draft bill proposes to provide a protection cover to the judges by allowing them to keep their wealth details confidential.

Law Minister M.Veerappa Moily, had on Sunday, made it clear that judges need protection from unnecessary litigation. “Since the judiciary cannot be treated on a par with the political executive or other institutions, the legislation will protect judges from vexatious allegations,” he had said.

Asked whether the government had watered down the proposed bill to keep the judiciary happy, Moily, on Monday, said: “Only once the draft is finalised can something be said.” The government is likely to face opposition in Parliament, in case it decides to go ahead with its proposal of keeping the judges’ asset details secret.

A group of top jurists, led by noted constitutional expert, Fali S. Nariman, had already appealed to the UPA government to reconsider its decision.

“The reasons for withholding public disclosure advanced by judges are not strong enough...” said a statement signed by Nariman, former law minister Shanti Bhushan and former Delhi High Court chief justice, Rajinder Sachar, along with 20 other eminent citizens.