Parliamentary Standing Committee recommends mandatory declaration of assets by Supreme Court and High Court judges
A Parliamentary Committee has recommended bringing legislation to make it mandatory for Supreme Court and High Court judges to declare their property returns on an annual basis. The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, in its report ‘Judicial Processes And Their Reforms’, said that as a general practice, all constitutional functionaries and government servants must file annual returns of their assets and liabilities.
The Standing Committee, chaired by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sushil Kumar Modi said the Supreme Court has gone to the extent of holding that the public has a right to know the assets of those standing for elections as MPs or MLAs. He added that in that case if anybody holding public office and drawing a salary from the exchequer should mandatorily furnish annual returns of their property. The government told the parliamentary panel that there is a need to institutionalise the mechanism for regular filing of assets and uploading them in the public domain.
The Committee recommended that the Union government bring about appropriate legislation to make it mandatory for judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts to furnish their property returns on an annual basis to the appropriate authority. It said that declaration of assets by the judges of the higher judiciary will only bring more trust and credibility into the system.