Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Notice to Bombay High Court CJ for disclosure of assets of Judges


The Hon’ble the Chief Justice,
Bombay High Court,

Respected Sir,

Mission Justice is a people’s movement to bring quality and transparency in Indian Justice delivery system and also address all social issues towards strengthening democracy and rights.

One of the objectives of Mission Justice is to keep and further enhance the prestige of justice system in India. In the near past, there have been sad instances, where the prestige of judicial system has been lowered by some of the members of judicial fraternity in India. To cite a few cases, for example, are Justice Dinakaran, Justice Nirmal Yadav, Justice Saumitra Sen. Even the ex-Chief Justice of India, Justice Balakrishnan is perceived to have left some unfavourable public impressions, specially related to some unrelated loose comments and non-implementation of RTI Act to CJI office.

Mission Justice strongly believes that a vibrant and dynamic justice system, with is seen as “justice is done” and “judges are paragons of virtues and fairness” is essential in any democracy. Our’s is still a young and not-fully-matured democracy. We, the people of India, have extreme faith in judges and justice system. Barring a few exceptions, the justice system is considered as savior of our democracy. Other pillars of democracy, mainly legislature, executive and even press have let us down badly.

Though, the justice system and most of the judges are considered as honest, savior, independent and reliable, we believe that to be keep this perception and tradition, live and active, some pro-active steps must be taken by higher judiciary.

One of the steps is regular declaring the assets by all judges.

The Supreme Court of India, by a Full Court decision in 2009, adopted a resolution by which all the Judges were required to make their assets public. After that, many High Courts, including Bombay High Court, resolved that their Judges would also declare their assets. Bombay High Court judges were among the first to unanimously adopt such a resolution.

Within a few weeks of the above resolutions being adopted, Judges of Supreme Court and a number of High Courts including High Court of Kerala, High Court of Karnataka, High Court of Punjab and Haryana, High of Delhi, to name only few, actually made their assets public by displaying the information on each Court’s official website. However, Bombay High Court has yet to implement the resolution unanimously adopted by its Judges.

Thus, in keeping the dictum of transparency in judicial system and “honesty of justice system”, we, the Mission Justice, request you, Sir, to pro-actively implement the resolution adopted to declare the assets of all judges to with the high traditions of Bombay High Court. Public faith and perception is the source of the respect and authority of our judiciary. This single step will create extreme goodwill for our judiciary in the eyes of the general public.

On behalf of MISSION JUSTICE we assure maximum cooperation to the entire Judiciary in creating a better India and a better civilization.

With highest regards,
For Mission Justice
Rakesh Mohan Goyal
Joint Convener

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