Judges must disclose their assets: Saldanha


The retired judge was responding to a question on the raging issue of judges and assets disclosure from a member of the audience after delivering a humorous talk during a programme ‘The Voyager Series’ organised by the British Library, Bangalore and Equitor consulting at the premises of British Council on Friday evening. “Refusal to do so will destroy the confidence we have in the institution,” he said. This is a very serious integrity problem as far as the judiciary is concerned, Justice Saldanha added.

The government has made a mess of the bill in this connection, he charged. He also lashed out at the view prevailing in some quarters that the RTI Act does not apply to judges and said, “it is absolutely wrong.”

To a question on the usage of English instead of Kannada when delivering judgments in the Karnataka High Court, the retired judge said that it was difficult to translate many technical terms from the English language to the vernacular. English has emerged as the universal link language. “Also, it would be very difficult if the case were to be taken to the Supreme Court from the High Court as it would have to be translated into English again.

Earlier in his speech, Judge Saldanha said that the performance of the judiciary was a total letdown. “There is a need for urgent and serious reforms in the system and it must come from within,” he felt.

Report submitted
Following the High Court directions, Justice Gopal Gowda, Justice Ajit Gunjal, Advocate General Ashok Harnahalli and K N Puttegowda, President, Advocates Association, Bangalore and M G Kumar, counsel for the petitioner and High Court Registrar General inspected the spot for the proposed High Court canteen and submitted a report on Friday.

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