Governance Now Visionary Talks Series

Good, but not enough, Delhi High Court!

Furnish details of movable property as well, says RTI applicant who led to disclosure of judges' assets


Danish Raza | February 6, 2010

Even as Delhi High Court judges have made their assets public, S. C. Agrawal, whose RTI application led to the move, is not satisfied.

“It is surprising that details of movable properties like jewellery and vehicles of judges have not been put up on the website, while the supreme court judges had revealed such assets as well," said Agrawal, adding that the system of declaration should be made uniform for all courts.

Delhi High Court had, on Friday, uploaded details of assets of its Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and 42 judges. As per the declaration, on, Shah has assets worth Rs 4.27 crore.

Last month, Delhi High Court had ruled that the office of the Chief Justice of India would be covered under the RTI Act. The division bench comprising Justice Vikramjit Sen, Justice S. Murlidharan and Chief Justice A. P. Shah also said that it was mandatory on part of the judges to declare their assets to the chief justices and the same should be made public under Section 4 of the RTI Act, which calls for proactive disclosure.

Earlier, judges of Kerala and Madras high courts had declared their assets.

“This one step might not be enough to remove corruption from the judiciary, but we can say that things are moving forward,” said Ashok Agarwal, lawyer and social activist.

S. C. Agrawal filed an RTI application in November 2007 to find out whether high court judges were submitting declarations about their assets to respective chief justices in states as per a 1997 resolution. Agrawal's application eventually led to the disclosure of judges' assets.



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