Only those with “absolute merit, impeccable integrity” will become judges

No one with a tainted reputation can become a judge, once the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010 comes into force, Union Minister for Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily said on Saturday.

Speaking at a seminar organised here by the Legal and Human Rights Department of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, he said that only people with “absolute merit, impeccable integrity and respect for inclusive justice” would be able to enter the judiciary once the Bill was passed.

The Centre was launching a scheme on August 20, the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, to identify and support 10 bright first-generation lawyers from munsif and magistrate courts and train them in the best legal academic institutions, he said. When the scheme got going, over 10,000 people would get special training every year, added Mr. Moily.

He said that 14 law universities would be opened in addition to the 14 which are already functioning. Five institutions of research would be started with an aim to provide quality faculty to the law colleges.

Undertrials released

Mr. Moily expressed satisfaction with the success of the drive to decrease pendency of cases, stating that as on August 31, over 2.25 lakh undertrials had been released.

Congress spokesperson and Member of Parliament Abhishekh Singhvi proposed that an all-India judicial service examination be started to draw bright young people into the judicial system. He said the dichotomy in the retirement age of High Court and Supreme Court judges, 62 and 65, should be done away with.

Responding to the demand for a Supreme Court Bench in Bangalore, Mr. Singhvi dismissed it as “impractical” and said that also diluted the integrity of the Supreme Court.