Government defers introduction of Judges Bill in Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi, Aug 3 (ANI): Amidst protest from opposition benches the UPA Government deferred introduction of the Judges (Declaration of Assets and Liabilities) Bill, 2009 in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The Bill seeks to exempt the contents of the assets declarations made by judges of the superior courts from disclosure.

Opposition MPs argued that if assets of politicians could be made public their assets, the same should be applying to the judges as well.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley questioned the distribution of the Bill amongst the members of the judiciary before it was introduced in the House.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) leader Brinda Karat said the Judges' Assets Bill was violative of the equality of all citizens.

The government tried to counter by saying that there was an internal mechanism created by the Supreme Court to keep a tab on the assets of judges but the uproar by the Opposition benches and government's lack of majority forced Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily to withdraw the Bill.

Later Moily said the government would prefer to be deferred the Bill for finding a consensus among the political parties and the House.

Earlier in July the Union Cabinet had approved the Bill, but it has been opposed by the Opposition parties and social activists saying the Bill is against the wishes of Right to Information (RTI) Act.

If Parliament passes the Bill, the judges of High Courts and Supreme Court would be the only people exempted from public scrutiny of their assets, a privilege which even the President and the Prime Minister do not enjoy. (ANI)

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