Of the 23 of a sanctioned strength of 31 judges in the Supreme Court, only 12 have declared their assets online, says a report in Indian Express.
According to the official SC website, the 11 judges who have not yet disclosed their assets and investments are: Justices R F Nariman, A M Sapre, U U Lalit, D Y Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao, Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Mohan M Shantanagoudar, S Abdul Nazeer, Navin Sinha, Deepak Gupta and Indu Malhotra. Justices Nariman, Lalit, Rao and Malhotra were elevated directly from the Bar.
Among those who have declared their assets include: the Chief Justice of India and the other four judges in the Collegium, as well as seven others.
The website says all those judges who have declared their assets own some land at least. Interestingly, it also shows that the top two judges don’t own a car. Justice Madan B Lokur owns a Maruti Swift, Justice Kurian Joseph a second-hand Maruti Esteem and Justice A K Sikri, a Honda Civic.
In May 1997, the SC, in a decree, said in a full court resolution that all judges must disclose details of assets and investments, along with that of their spouses and dependents, to the Chief Justice. The declarations, however, would be confidential.
In 2007, a petitioner approached the Delhi High Court asking for disclosure of assets by Judges under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The SC registry contested this plea, but a three-judge bench ruled that judges must and should make their assets public. The registry, however, did not appeal against the HC’s decision. On August 26, 2009, the SC in a full court meeting with Justice K G Balakrishnan as Chief Justice, ruled that it would voluntarily declare assets, and make them public.
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