Eminent jurists on Monday welcomed the declaration of assets by Chief Justice of India K. G. Balakrishnan and 20 Supreme Court judges, saying it was a “good step, long-pending and overdue.”
“It is a good step. I welcome it,” said the former Attorney General Soli J. Sorabjee.
The former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan and noted Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan also welcomed the move.
Mr. Shanti Bhushan said he would give detailed reactions only after going through the information provided by the judges on the website .
However, Mr. Prashant Bhushan, who has been at the forefront in court battles regarding the declaration of assets by judges, was forthcoming in his view and said “this is not enough” and that he would still advocate for a law which makes the declaration mandatory and not voluntary.
“Since it [declaration of assets] is voluntary, it is open for judges to refuse. We still need a law to make this disclosure compulsory that too on an affidavit, so that false disclosures become punishable as in the case of an election candidate… The law should encompass all public servants and not merely the judges. Even the details regarding I-T returns and wealth tax returns should be given,” Mr. Prashant Bhushan said. He summed up saying, “it is a good thing which was long overdue. It is a welcome development.”
He said “more details of the assets needed to be given such as date, place and price at the time of purchase of the properties.”
He also wanted the exact address of the purchased properties to be provided as this would help in ascertaining the veracity of the information.