Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill

On March 29, 2012, Lok Sabha passed the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2011, aimed at striking a balance between maximising judicial independence and laying down accountability at the same time for members of the higher judiciary.

The Bill proposes to reduce the quantum of punishment for frivolous and false complaints against judges from proposed five years rigorous imprisonment to one-year simple imprisonment and quantum of fine from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 50,000.

The most important component of this Bill is the proposed creation of a National Judicial Oversight Committee (NJOC), which gives them wider constitutional powers, including that of taking help from outside for the purpose of getting more information. The NJOC shall be entitled to take assistance of such officers of the Central or the State government or any agency thereof or authority as it deems fit.

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