With Supreme Court moving an appeal in the Delhi High Court against the CIC order on making assets of its judges public, the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has made it clear that the judges "are not bound to disclose" their wealth.
"There is no statute or law which insists that the judges or the superior courts should submit declaration of their assets. Even then, our judges are submitting the declaration of assets to the Chief Justice," the CJI said.
His remarks in an interview come close on the heels of the Supreme Court Registry taking the unprecedented step of moving the High Court, challenging the January 6 decision of the central information commission.
The CIC had asked the Central Public Information Officer of the apex court to furnish information within 10 days as to whether any declaration of assets has been filed by the judges of the Supreme Court or not.
Justice Balakrishnan said he was going by the Resolution passed by the Supreme Court on May 7, 1997 which required judges of the apex court to make a declaration of their assets to the CJI.
"It is not a public document," he said adding, that the declaration given by his colleagues was "based on confidence".
"So it is not proper for me to disclose it. If it is (made) statutory, suppose if there is any Parliamentary enactment that judges should declare their assets and should give it to Chief Justice, then it is a public document," he said.