Sunday, January 31, 2010

Moily hints at changes in RTI Act on judges row

Against the backdrop of the Supreme Court favouring amendments in the RTI Act to provide insulation from disclosure of information pertaining to appointment of judges and decisions of the collegium, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily today indicated changes in the Act.He however, clarified that the proposed changes were independent of the Delhi High Court judgement in this regard and the matter would be looked into by the Department of Personnel and Training which deals with the implementation of the Act.In a landmark verdict against the Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court on January 12 held that the office of the Chief Justice of India comes within the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, saying judicial independence is not a judge's privilege but a responsibility cast upon him. There is some proposal being contemplated. It is in comparision to other judiciaries in the world. But it has nothing to do with the Delhi High Court judgement. It is independent of it, Moily told reporters here. He said the general principle is that the judiciary should be transparent. To a question on the proposed Judges Standards and Accountability Bill the government plans to bring, Moily said while the power to impeach a member of the
higher judiciary would rest with Parliament, the Bill will have details on issues of commission and omission by judges.

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