Legal Blog: Government may introduce Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Government may introduce Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010

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A Bill proposed to ensure ‘greater accountability and transparency’ in India’s higher judiciary provides for ‘rigorous imprisonment and fine for frivolous or vexatious complaints,’ Parliament was told. 

Law and Justice Minister M Veerappa Moily said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha that the government ‘proposes to bring in The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010,’ but did not say when it would do so. 

He was answering Janta Dal (United) member from Bihar Anil Kumar Sahani who wanted to know the salient objectives of the proposed Bill and steps to ‘check misuse of the legislation.’ The Bill will lay down judicial standards to be followed by the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts, a mechanism for enquiring into complaints against Judges and provide for declaration of their assets and liabilities, Moily said. 

The Minister said it would also punish misuse. ‘The Bill provides for rigorous imprisonment and fine for frivolous or vexatious complaints.’ Moily told another member that the government was collecting information on the number Supreme Court judgements which are more than two years old and yet to be implemented. 

He was answering Indian National Congress member from Andhra Pradesh Nandi Yellaiah who wanted to know the number of such judgements and the steps taken for their implementation, especially in his State. 

Answering Bharatiya Janata Party’s Jai Prakash Narayan Singh from Jharkhand, Moily said that a proposal to give the Law Commission ‘statutory status is under consideration of the government.'

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