1. Hon’ble Shri K.G. Balakrishnan, Chief Justice of India
3. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Tarun Chatterjee
4. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir
5. Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.V. Raveendran
6. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari
7. Hon’ble Mr. Justice D.K. Jain
8. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Markandey Katju
9. Hon’ble Mr. Justice V.S. Sirpurkar
10. Hon’ble Mr. Justice B. Sudershan Reddy
11. Hon’ble Mr. Justice P. Sathasivam
12. Hon’ble Mr. Justice G.S. Singhvi
13. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Aftab Alam
14. Hon’ble Mr. Justice J. M. Panchal
15. Hon’ble Dr. Justice Mukundakam Sharma
16. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Cyriac Joseph
17. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly
18. Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.M. Lodha
19. Hon’ble Mr. Justice H.L. Dattu
20. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Deepak Verma
21. Hon’ble Dr. Justice B.S. Chauhan
22. Assets of Hon’ble Mr. Justice B.N. Agrawal, since retired on 15.10.2009, on special request.
I am not very sure about the intent of CJI. However, the voluntary declaration should not preclude the legislation that was under consideration. If anything, it should make it easier on the part of the government to bring the said legislation because now it will not appear as an affront to the judiciary. Supreme Court judges have acceded to the call of time. As such others should not murmur when asked to declare their assets every year.
Taking advantage of the voluntary “asset declaration” decision, the government of India can and should now go ahead and make it mandatory for all government functionaries (“state functionaries”, in the words of Sukla jee!).
As for implementation of such a law, unless it is applied compulsorily and universally, it can simply become a tool for harassing relatively honest functionaries. This would require a number of other things: (1) All punishments should bear a degree of proportionality with the amount involved. (2) Size of the investigative departments has to be increased to cope with the increased load. (3) Some special steps will need to be taken for keeping the investigative departments honest. This may require oversight by some prominent individuals held in high esteem for their integrity. One should also think of replacing some of the key “individuals” at key positions by “collectives of equals” like they have three ECs;
I do not know if the government would like to go all the way.
True, the declaration of assets etc has come after considerable reluctance, for which, of course, the CJI had his own reasons. However, it is difficult to agree with Suklaji when he says that this step was taken to blunt the thrust of the legislative action. The CJI was never against such a legislation. In fact, he has been maintaining that the government passes a law so that the information on judges which, in any case, has been coming to the CJI since 1997, comes legitimately in the public domain.
The step is of course highly welcome.
But has come only after a great deal of fuss under sustained external pressure and is apparently meant to blunt the thrust of the legislative action underway.
And it must extend to all levels.
And, to all state functionaries.