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No declaration of assets by judges: CJI

Justice Balakrishnan says no self-respecting judge would accept the idea.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2007 15:05 IST

Holding that there was no limit to judicial review, Supreme Court Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan has ruled out the question of having any compulsory annual declaration of wealth and assets by judges of the apex court and high courts.

No self-respecting judge would accept the idea of such compulsory declaration or have any committee of lay persons to probe the conduct of the judiciary, Justice Balakrishnan maintained in an interview to a private television channel, according to a press release of the channel.

Welcoming the proposed National Judicial Council intended for enforcing judicial accountability, the Chief Justice, however, rejected the idea of involving any lay persons in the Council.

"It is a question of independence of the judiciary. If any other person conducts such an inquiry about any judge, it will cause serious encroachment into the independence of the judiciary. I personally believe if anyone else inquires into the allegations against the judges and imposes punishment, I don't think any self-respecting judge would like it," Justice Balakrishnan observed.

To another question whether there should be compulsory annual declaration of their wealth and assets by judges, the CJI remarked, "No self-respecting persons will accept it."

On the power of judicial review, the CJI observed, "There is no limit as such. Any Parliamentary legislation could be challenged but then the grounds for judicial review are limited."