NEW DELHI: The Narendra Modi governmentwants candidates being considered for the post of judges in higher judiciary to disclose their assets. This is part of government’s measures to “instil tighter scrutiny and effective screening”, according to a source.
Currently, a candidate being considered for the post of HC judge is required to submit only his income-tax (I-T) returns. A list of his/herpropertiesorinvestmentsarenot sought at the time of consideration.
However, once the candidate becomes a HC judge he/she is required to disclose his/her assets, which are put upon the HC’s website. The government now wants the disclosure of assets to be made at the time of selection.
The government was recently confronted with a situation where the income-tax returns of a candidate for the post of HC judge did not match his “luxurious life style”, a top government functionary, requesting anonymity, told ET. “The government took a firm stand on this and raised the issue with the (higher) judiciary,” said the official quoted above. The candidature was subsequently rejected. Incidentally, the Bar Council of the concerned state had alleged nepotism in the names recommended for HC judges.
Resolutions were passed by the Council and sent to the PMO, President and CJI soliciting their intervention for reconsideration of the names recommended for elevation.
“A fair and objective mechanism will only lend transparency and infuse confidence in the selection process of judges. We see no reason why candidates should not disclose their investments and properties before the selection is made,” said another top government official on condition of anonymity.
As carried in ET on 13/9/2017