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Bless The 'Publicity Crazy'

The CJI or his fellow judges on the SC may not have paid heed to Fali Nariman's suggestion to voluntarily declare their assets, but  two High Court judges, Justice K Kannan of the Punjab and Haryana High Court (who voluntarily declared his assets) and Justice D.V.Shylendra Kumar of Karnataka High Court, who joined issue with the CJI, questioning his right to speak on behalf of all judges and against such declarations, have provided a silver lining to the dark cloud. In a very unusual but forthright two-part article in the New Indian Express on August 20 and 21 which was later reproduced by the Indian Express on August 22, Justice D.V.Shylendra Kumar wrote:

An article of this nature, which is otherwise not common or usual for a judge to pen, has become necessary only to convey to the people of this country that the impression created as of now is not necessarily the correct impression; that the judges of the superior courts of this country do not necessarily subscribe to the views and apprehensions expressed hitherto; that they have views and opinions otherwise than what has been conveyed to the public at large so far. The judges have nothing to fear; they have nothing to hide and they have no hesitation to disclose particulars of their assets and even for throwing open the information to the public domain. In fact, it is for the judges of this country to act and provide information even voluntarily. Indeed, I humbly appeal to all my brother and sister judges of the superior courts to do so. No inhibition need deter us from this path. 

The CJI was forced to clarify that he is not against the declaration of assets: "If the judges want to declare their assets, no one can prevent (them). How can I prevent. If the law comes everybody has to declare" but went on to say, "The public has a right to know what is happening in judiciary and I am telling and I stand by what I have said on disclosure of assets by judges". He also said that Justice Kumar, who had said that the CJI had no authority to speak on behalf of other judges, wants publicity and that is why he has written on the issue, which is not good for a judge. He added: "He wants publicity and such a thing is not good for a judge. Judges should not be publicity-crazy," he added.

The CJI or his fellow judges on the SC may not have paid heed to Fali Nariman's suggestion to voluntarily declare their assets, but  two High Court judges, Justice K Kannan of the Punjab and Haryana High Court (who voluntarily declared his assets) and Justice D.V.Shylendra Kumar of Karnataka High Court, who joined issue with the CJI, questioning his right to speak on behalf of all judges and against such declarations, have provided a silver lining to the dark cloud. In a very unusual but forthright two-part article in the New Indian Express on August 20 and 21 which was later reproduced by the Indian Express on August 22, Justice D.V.Shylendra Kumar wrote:

An article of this nature, which is otherwise not common or usual for a judge to pen, has become necessary only to convey to the people of this country that the impression created as of now is not necessarily the correct impression; that the judges of the superior courts of this country do not necessarily subscribe to the views and apprehensions expressed hitherto; that they have views and opinions otherwise than what has been conveyed to the public at large so far. The judges have nothing to fear; they have nothing to hide and they have no hesitation to disclose particulars of their assets and even for throwing open the information to the public domain. In fact, it is for the judges of this country to act and provide information even voluntarily. Indeed, I humbly appeal to all my brother and sister judges of the superior courts to do so. No inhibition need deter us from this path. 

The CJI was forced to clarify that he is not against the declaration of assets: "If the judges want to declare their assets, no one can prevent (them). How can I prevent. If the law comes everybody has to declare" but went on to say, "The public has a right to know what is happening in judiciary and I am telling and I stand by what I have said on disclosure of assets by judges". He also said that Justice Kumar, who had said that the CJI had no authority to speak on behalf of other judges, wants publicity and that is why he has written on the issue, which is not good for a judge.  "He wants publicity and such a thing is not good for a judge. Judges should not be publicity-crazy," he added.

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