Shady characters” should not be allowed to become judges, Law Minister Veerappa Moily, said today, adding the Government will introduce a legislation in Parliament soon to make judiciary more accountable.
As MPs moved to impeach Karnataka Chief Justice P. D. Dinakaran, facing land grab allegations, Mr. Moily told the Rajya Sabha the proposed Judges Standard and Accountability Bill is likely to be introduced during the current winter session of Parliament, which is scheduled to end on December 21.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, Mr. Moily said the Bill was yet to be cleared by the Cabinet but he would endeavour to get its approval so that it can be introduced towards the end of the current session of Parliament. The Bill will replace the Judges Inquiry Act, 1968.
After the passage of the Bill, “shady characters” would not be able to become judges and the measure would address questions of accountability and objectivity, Mr. Moily said.
Without referring to the controversy over elevation of Mr. Dinakaran to the Supreme Court, he said Government may have to revisit the present procedure of appointments of judges.
There were “infirmities” in the present system and the Government was “engaged” in addressing them, he said, adding. .
“It is only in India that judges appoint themselves.”
“May be we need to revisit some of these in the light of recent events,” he said without elaborating.
Mr. Moily’s written reply, however, stated that there was no proposal at present before the Government to reconsider the present procedure.
The existing procedure for appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and High courts was based on an apex court ruling of 1993.
“We would like to take judicary into confidence,” he said on “revisiting” the procedure. “The Government will not disappoint anyone.”