Twenty-one judges of the Supreme Court, including Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan, have declared their assets, giving details of movable and immovable property owned by them and their spouses in the Supreme Court website. Justice B.N. Agrawal, who retired last month, has also declared his assets on special request, while Justice H.S. Bedi is yet to do so.
Monday’s declaration says it is in terms of the May 7, 1997 resolution and it is purely voluntary. At present, there is no law governing the declaration of assets by judges.
The May 7, 1997 resolution says: “Resolved that every Judge should make a declaration of all his/her assets in the form of real estate or investment [held by him/her in his/her own name or in the name of his/her spouse or any person dependent on him/her] within a reasonable time of assuming office and in the case of sitting judges within a reasonable time of adoption of this Resolution and thereafter whenever any acquisition of a substantial nature is made, it shall be disclosed within a reasonable time. The declaration so made should be to the Chief Justice of the Court. The Chief Justice [should] make a similar declaration for the purpose of the record. The declaration made by the Judges or the Chief Justice, as the case may be, shall be confidential.” What is confidential till now with the CJI has been made public.
As per the details furnished by the CJI, he has a house at Thrikkakara South village in Kanayanur taluk in Kerala; a two-bed room residential flat costing Rs. 5.75 lakh and 15.840 cents of land in Ernakulam, costing Rs. 4.33 lakh; a family property at Najeezhoor Kaduthurty village, Vaikom taluk, costing Rs. 3.5 lakh; a residential plot in Faridabad, costing Rs. 4.50 lakh; 20 sovereigns gold jewellery and a Santro car; his wife Nirmala Balakrishnan has 68 cents of land at Epakadu village in Mennachil taluk, Kottayam.