Rarely, HC Judges take a public position, which is opposed to that of the Chief Justice of India and his brother Judges in the Supreme Court. Therefore, Justice D.V.Shylendra Kumar of Karnataka High Court’s two-part article in New Indian Express on the question of Judges declaring their assets, and questioning the CJI’s right to speak on behalf of the entire Judiciary in the country is sure to raise eyebrows. The author’s observations are very persuasive: first, the CJI’s views cannot be representative of the views of the other SC Judges or HC Judges on the matter. Second, in our scheme of things, the HCs are independent, and are not under the administrative control of the Supreme Court. He has also asserted his right to express his views freely on any matter without fear or favour.
The two-part article can be read here and here.
Justice Kumar is also reportedly exploring how to publicly declare his assets even in the absence of an agreed procedure. However, Justice Kumar’s article is bound to raise issues of propriety because the Delhi High Court is still hearing the Supreme Court’s appeal against the CIC decision on the assets case. Point No.8 in this Restatement of Values of Judicial Life is of particular relevance.