Judicial Accountability Bill


The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill providing for a mechanism to deal with complaints against judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court was tabled in the Lok Sabha on December 1, 2010 by Law Minister Veerappa Moily. At present, there is no legal mechanism for dealing with complaints against judges, who are currently governed by ‘Restatement of Values of Judicial Life,’ adopted by the judiciary as a code of conduct without any statutory sanction.

 

The Bill sets judicial standards and makes judges accountable for their lapses and mandates judges of the High Courts and the Supreme Court to declare their assets and liabilities, including those of their spouses and dependents and to file an annual return in this regard. This will be displayed on the website of the Supreme Court and the High Courts concerned.

The Bill mandates that judges should not have close association with individual members of the Bar and not allow any member of their immediate family to appear before them in courts. Judges should not contest any election to any office of club, society or other association, except those associated with the law or any court. Further, they should not have any bias in judicial work or judgments on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.