Judicial Standards and Accountability: Modi Government wants to introduce a Fresh Bill

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New Delhi: To change the present system of probing complaints against judges of the higher judiciary, the Government is now favouring the brining of the fresh Bill, which is containing similar change. The said change is sought in the provisions of the fresh bill where the probing of complaints of ‘misbehaviour and incapacity’ against judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts.

The previous UPA Government has brought The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, earlier, but it was lapsed after the 15th Lok Sabha was dissolved in the year 2014. However, the present Government is now showing its wishes to bring the law with certain changes.

Moreover, as per the note submitted by Law Ministry, the law for inculcating the independence, impartiality and accountability between the Judges of the higher judiciary should be soon considered. And as per their opinion, the same can be done by re- introducing a fresh Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill.

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It was seen last year that the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill was lapsed, and on question to the Law Minister, in Lok Sabha in the month of December, he said that Ministry is working on it and any decision will be taken after taking suggestions from the stakeholders.

Even earlier to that, in the year 2012, the Bill was passed by Lok Sabha in the month of March, said year, however, in Rajya Sabha some changes were brought and after a protest by the judiciary and jurists, it was lapsed. The said lapsed Bill was providing for the comprehensive mechanism for handling the complaints of ‘misbehaviour and incapacity’ against the judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. Also there was a mechanism for taking action against those who will be found guilty after investigation.

Now, Ministry has submitted note which was prepared for the Ninth meeting of the Advisory Council of the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms. And as per this note, the New Bill could be further strengthened. Also the pending legislation will be more strengthened with the clarity options as to the process of inquiry, and also power to impose punishment and the extent to which the minor measures (punishments) will be enforceable.

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Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan