High court reserves order on judges’ assets case

NEW DELHI - The Delhi High Court Monday reserved its order on a apex court plea challenging Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order that judges declare their assets.

Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati contended before Justice S. Ravinder Bhatt that disclosure of information on personal assets by judges will affect the independence of the judicial system.

‘If we introduce transparency to an extent which would disturb the working of the judge, then it would affect the independence of judicial system,’ Vahanvati said.

He said information regarding judges’ assets cannot be disclosed as the Chief Justice of India is not a controlling authority.

The solicitor general said the resolution passed by the Supreme Court judges in 1997 pertaining to declaration of their assets is not statutory and does not have the force of law.

The RTI applicant, who had sought information on judges’ assets, however, said revealing such information would not affect transparency and independence of the judicial system.

The high court had Jan 19 stayed the order of the CIC in which the commission had held that the office of Chief Justice of India comes within the ambit of the RTI Act and such information had to be revealed to the applicant.


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