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Millennium Post

The fact about our judges

The recent conflict between the judges of the Delhi High Court and the law ministry is odious. The law ministry should come clean about the facts pertaining to the circular issued by them to the judges of the High Court. This circular is important because it lays down ‘guidelines’ for judges especially with regard to foreign trips and other aspects of the judges’ behaviour. However, the judges have struck down these guidelines saying that they did not apply to them. This is most surprising. It is as if the law ministry is in conflict with the Delhi High Court. This should not happen.

The conflict over the trivial issue of judges’ foreign trips should not be blown out of proportion. If, however, there are allegations of corruption with regard to judges, these should be made public. The judges are of the opinion that these guidelines do not apply to them. This also is a source of mystery. It is becoming increasingly difficult for people to trace out the workings of the government in power and the law courts. Why the law ministry is in conflict with judges all over India over various issues is not at all clear.

The High Court says that the Right to Information Act does not apply to them. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get the law ministry to respond to queries. Even Arvind Kejriwal, who has attacked Minister of Law Salman Khurshid for corruption, is not able to get a response from the law ministry about corruption allegations against judges. The controversy over the passports issued to the judges of the Delhi High Court, related to the dispute between them and the Law Ministry, is not clear. The government seems to be suggesting that these are important for medical reasons or for security-related issues. This sounds disturbing. It is is difficult to understand what the issue of passports to judges has to do with medicine. As far as security is concerned, this issue also should not be stretched too far. These days, even top-notch lawyers have difficulty in entering the courts of law in Delhi. This should not be the case. All lawyers, as, indeed, judges, have the right to enter the courts unfettered by excessive security measures. There has to be more transparency about the working of this government and the law courts. There are few clues as to why the judges are being harassed by the law ministry, if indeed they are, unless the judges are sitting over the files relating to the Khurshid’s corruption cases. If so, the pubic deserves to be fully informed about the cases such as the judges’ foreign trips and who paid for them, as well as cases of judicial corruption.
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