NEW DELHI: The former Chief Justice of India, J.S. Verma, has said the new Judges (Inquiry) Bill is a much diluted version of what was contemplated when he was in office.
The post of Chief Justice of India too should be brought under the purview of the proposed national judicial council, he said at a panel discussion to be aired on Lok Sabha Television on Friday. "The Chief Justice and all judges are alike. I personally feel that the Chief Justice of India should not be exempted... "
When a comparison was sought to be made between the proposed Lok Pal and the judicial council, he said the situation was different.
The Prime Minister should not come under the purview of Lok Pal.
According to a Lok Sabha secretariat release, he said: "The Prime Minister being under a cloud, the country cannot function... there is a political process to get rid of a Prime Minister, who should not be there... I do not equate the Chief Justice's position and offices, which I myself held [with that of the Prime Minister]. I am not saying it now. I said it even when I was holding the office of Chief Justice that Prime Minister should not be brought under the purview of Lok Pal... "
Mr. Justice Verma said the Chief Justice should not be upset because in his opinion he equated the Chief Justice of India with the other judges of the Supreme Court and an exemption could give an impression that this was an indirect way of subordinating them which the Constitution did not envisage.
Justice Verma agreed with Harish Khare, Chief of Bureau, The Hindu, that the judicial council should also be empowered to examine the complaints that might arise out of post-retirement activities of judges.
The programme was moderated by Manoj Mitta, Senior Editor, The Times of India, and was part the series, "Countdown to Winter Session," which will culminate with a curtain raiser to be telecast on the eve of the session.