Monday, November 2, 2009

Supreme Court judges declare assets

NEW DELHI: Shedding their reluctance in the face of intense public glare, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and all the 20 Supreme Court judges have furnished details of their assets which were put on the official website. Supreme Court's website says declaration of assets is purely on voluntary basis.

Assets of Justice B N Agrawal, who retired last month, are also available on SC's website.

The decision to make the assets public was taken last week after CJI K G Balakrishnan and other judges finalised the details of their assets during the Dusshera and Diwali festivals with some of them availing the services of professional chartered accountants for the purpose.

The move comes against the backdrop of criticism from the legal fraternity and general public that the judges of the country's highest court who enjoyed the power of sending people to the gallows cannot fight shy of disclosing their assets to ensure probity in public life.

In a landmark judgement on September 2, the Delhi High Court had upheld a direction of the Central Information Commission (CIC) to the Supreme Court to provide information to an RTI applicant Subhash C Aggarwal as to whether the apex court judges were disclosing their assets to the CJI as mandated by a 1997 resolution.

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