Former Supreme Court judge and renowned legal luminary, Justice V R Krishan Aiyer, has said judges should declare their assets to ensure transparency in their conduct and public life.“It’s necessary for the judges to make their assets public. I had told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two years ago, and today again I raised this with Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan,” he told The Indian Express on the sidelines of the state high court’s ruby jubilee celebrations. Speaking at the function, Aiyer stressed the need for accountability of the judges and maintaining transparency in their conducts. The 96-year-old did not mince words to bring home his point to a gathering.”The judges should get more powers to discharge their functions but there is need also for enforcing an accountability of the judges,” he said. “The system of appointment of judges is not transparent. I am strongly against the system of colloquium deciding on appointments. It should be abolished, to make matter more transparent. The appointments of judges should, instead be made through a commission of appointments. Even the earlier system of judges’ appointment was better than the existing one,” he told this reporter.
He said nepotism and favouritism in the appointments should be effectively checked, and the system of appointments should be fair clean and transparent.
He favoured framing a “constitutional code of conduct for judges”, which will govern, “at least, three aspects of the judges conduct like appointments, performance and punitive role”.He also lauded the creation of the Green Bench, but questioned its authority. “It’s a good thing but what will happen if the larger bench reverses the order of the Green Bench on an appeal by a multi-national? The Green Bench should have powers to enforce its orders and not to be set aside by other bench,” he said.Justice Aiyer admitted that judiciary in India needs to make a self-assessment of its role after the Independence and make sweeping changes