It provides for mechanism for investigation against judges

The Lok Sabha has approved the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, which provides for a mechanism for investigation against judges.

The approval came on Thursday amid din created by some Opposition members on a variety of issues.

The Bill, introduced in December 2010, was brought to the Lok Sabha with fresh amendments in December, 2011. This includes restraining judges from making “unwarranted comments” against the conduct of any constitutional authority.

According to the revised Bill, any judge who makes oral comments against other constitutional authorities and individuals would render himself/herself liable for “judicial misconduct.”

Law Minister Salman Khurshid said the Bill seeks to set up a mechanism to enquire into complaints against judges of the Supreme Court or High Courts. It was aimed at striking a “balance” between maximising judicial independence and laying down accountability at the same time for members of the higher judiciary.

The Bill seeks to repeal the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968, but retains some of its key features like power to Parliament to impeach a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court, the Minister said.

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