Friday, January 15, 2010

Thumbs up to Delhi HC: Supreme court credibility ... further down the slopes

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reinforced its earlier verdict that the office of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) was within the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Comments:What was a single judge order of Delhi HC has not got the stamp of approval of a 3 judge bench of Delhi HC.


The apex court registry is likely to challenge this judgment before the Supreme Court.
A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justices Vikramjeet Sen and S Muralidhar said that the CJI cannot be said to have a fiduciary relationship (between a trustee and a beneficiary) with other judges.

Comments: Now the options of the Supreme Court are to appeal against this decision, and finally to get its back broken completely! Because even if they win somehow in appeal to Supreme Court, sooner or later a law or mechanism will be passed to break this nexus where asset declaration of judges to CJI are being held like they are a top-secret information. History will judge the decision to appeal to SC as a very absurd one at best.


According to the bench, judges of the superior courts should make public their assets as they were not “less accountable” than the judicial officers of the lower courts, who were bound by service rules to declare assets.

Comments: So if you are still in doubt if judges of lower courts are bound to do more disclosure, here is presented a quote from Justice Shylendra Kumar's article on RTI for judges' disclosure of assets (here):

In fact, it is a misnomer to think that the judges of the superior courts are not ready to disclose their assets. The judges of the High Courts are appointed after being drawn from the Bar or on promotion from the subordinate judiciary in the ratio of 2: 1 which means that for every promotee judge, there will be two judges appointed directly from the Bar. Judges promoted from the subordinate judiciary happen to be occupants of the post of district judge and every district Judge is required to declare his/her assets every year, as part of the conditions of service. The judges drawn from the Bar and appointed to the High Courts would all have disclosed their income for the previous five years. This is an essential requirement.

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