No decision has been taken to bring back a bill to put in place a system to probe complaints against judges of the Supreme Court and high courts, Rajya Sabha was informed today.
The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill was passed by Lok Sabha in March, 2012 when the UPA was in power but it could not be discussed in Rajya Sabha and lapsed following the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha in 2014.
“No decision has been taken to bring back this legislation,” Minister of State for Law P P Chaudhary said in a written reply.
The framework of the bill had come up for discussion at a meeting of the Advisory Council of the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms here in February.
It was felt that the scope of judicial accountability in the country was being confined to the issues relating to judicial ethics and judicial misconduct. If India follows the framework of court excellence, it may widen the scope and bring in the issues of “efficiency and transparency” in the country’s legal processes.
The lapsed bill provided for a comprehensive mechanism for handling complaints made by citizens on grounds of alleged misbehaviour and incapacity against judges of the Supreme Court and high courts.
It also provided for a mechanism to take action against those found guilty after investigation. Besides laying down judicial standards, it made it incumbent on the judges to declare their assets and liabilities.