You can complain against a judge soon
9 Nov, 2006. NEW DELHI: Common man will soon be able to lodge a complaint against a judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court and his grievance will be looked into by a National Judicial Council (NJC). 

This follows approval of the Union Cabinet to a bill aimed at bringing transparency in the functioning of the judiciary and ensure accountability of judges. 

The Judges (Inquiry) Bill, 2006, which provides for setting up the NJC to probe any misconduct by a judge of the Supreme Court or High Courts will be introduced in the winter session of Parliament beginning November 22. 

A meeting of the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh approved the proposed law which entails certain amendments to the Judges (Inquiry) Act of 1968, Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters. 

The long delayed measure provides for a procedure under which any person can make a complaint to the NJC against judges except the Chief Justice of India (CJI). 

The NJC will comprise the CJI, two senior-most judges of the apex court and two senior-most chief justices of the High Courts nominated by the CJI irrespective of their seniority. 

However, in case of complaint/reference against a judge of the Supreme Court, the Council shall consist of the Chief Justice of India and the four senior most judges of the Supreme Court to be nominated by the CJI. 

The Law Commission in its 195th report had made certain recommendations in this regard, he said. 

The Commission had recommended a new complaint procedure in addition to the earlier 'reference procedure' containing the 1968 Act. 

The new complaint procedure has a provision for preliminary scrutiny and verification by the NJC. Where the allegations are proved, the Council shall submit its report to the President who has to forward the same to Parliament. 

While as per the reference procedure, minor measures cannot be imposed and removal was the only recourse available, under the complaint procedure, minor measures could be imposed. 

Such minor measures would include issuing advisories, request for retirement, stoppage of assignment of judicial work for a limited time, warning and censure or admonition (public or private).


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