New Delhi: Taking note of the recent court observations slamming the government while hearing cases like CWG and 2G spectrum scam, a Parliamentary Committee has called for inclusion of a specific clause in the Judicial Accountability Bill that requires judges to restrain themselves from making unwarranted comments against Constitutional, statutory bodies and individuals in the open while hearing court cases.

The standing panel on Personnel, Public grievances, Law and Justices headed by Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi presented its report in the Parliament on Tuesday. The panel has also asserted in its recommendations to change the system of appointment of judges in order to ensure more transparency and accountability in the higher judiciary.

The government aims to reform the higher judiciary through the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill - 2010.

The Committee has recommended that the judges must be refrained from making unwarranted observations against constitutional bodies, statutory bodies, institutions or individuals.

Singhvi, however, clarified, “We have not said that the judge cannot write anything in their verdict. They are free to pass strictures against anybody at any level. But they must not pass observations against them in open courts.”

The report presented in both the houses has raised serious questions regarding the appointment of judges. Members are not in favour of judges’ appointment being done by a collegium of judges.

They proposed that a law should be made which can facilitate the formation of an independent National Judicial Oversight Committee and the Complaint Screening Committee. In addition, the committees should include legislators (one member each from both the Houses), along with members of Executive and Judiciary.

On inclusion of members from the Legislature and the executive Singhvi argued that it would maintain the faith of the common man on the Judiciary.

The committee also objected that in case of declaration of assets by judges, the Screening Committee should not have two judges as members from the same court.

According to the Committee, it was wrong that a judge of the same court should investigate into the corruption allegations of a judge. In order to maintain fairness, two judges from other High Court should be in the Screening Committee.

(JPN/ Bureau)