‘Judges not to be treated as people’s representatives’

March 24th, 2009 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Tuesday said that judges should not be treated like members of parliament and other representatives of the people on the issue of assets’ declaration since such information could be misused.
Justice S. Ravinder Bhat while hearing the Supreme Court’s plea challenging a Central Information Commission (CIC) order on the issue, said: “Public interest standards for the judiciary have to be different from other institutions. So judges have to be treated differently from people’s representatives on the issue.”

The court said that judiciary should be liberated from all kinds of fear and personal information of judges might be misused if divulged under the Right to Information Act (RTI).

“Judges have to work according to the law and without fear. For the proper functioning of judiciary, it has to be liberated from all kinds of fear. The Election Commission and other such institutions are vibrant because they are independent,” Bhat observed.

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

The high court had, Jan 19, stayed a CIC order holding that the chief justice of India’s office comes within the ambit of the RTI Act and information has to be revealed under this.

Earlier, the apex court had contended that its judges were not averse to declaring their assets and that parliament should frame a law on this.

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