New Delhi: Legal experts are divided over the issue of bringing judges in the ambit of Lokpal bill. Retired judges are of the view that the judges should be kept out of the Lokpal Bill whereas jurists and constitutional experts advocate the inclusion of judges within the territory of Lokpal bill under cautious provisions.

However, all the jurists unanimously advocate the provision of accountability for the judges. Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap feels that the judiciary should also be held accountable but he added, “In few countries there are separate Lokpals for the judges whereas in other nations all democratic institutions come under one Lokpal. As such, during the drafting of Lokpal bill it should be seen that it does not clash with the Judicial Accountability Bill.” 

Though renowned lawyer, Rajeev Dhawan is against giving any special treatment to the judges yet he feels that because of the inherent process of criminal penalty provision in the Lokpal bill, special attention should be given while exercising the bill for judiciary.

Retired judge of Patna High Court, Nagendra Rai and retired judge of Delhi High Court RS Sodhi argued that every public servant should be treated equally. Rai said, “Whether he is a judge or a Prime Minister, no one should be scared of investigation. But having said this, I would like to add that it is not possible to bring judges under the direct helm of the Bill. Judges cannot be put at par with ministers and bureaucrats as this would hamper the integrity of the judiciary.” 
Sodhi insisted on framing a separate law for all the judges. He said, “More provisions can be included in the Judges Accountability Bill.”

(JPN/ Bureau)