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CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS AND CITIZENS' RIGHTSAn Omnibus Comprising Constitutional Questions in India and Citizens' Rights, Judges and State Accountability$
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A. G. Noorani

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195678291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678291.001.0001

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The Code of Conduct for Judges 1

The Code of Conduct for Judges 1

A National Judicial Commission

(p.98) 12 The Code of Conduct for Judges1

A.G. Noorani

Oxford University Press

This articles examines the proposal for establishing an independent National Judicial Commission (NJC) which would make recommendations to the president on the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the high court and on transfer of judges from one high court to another. The Constitution Sixty-seventh Amendment Bill, 1990 was introduced by then law minister, Mr Dinesh Goswami in the Lok Sabha in May 1990. The bill lapsed on the dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1991, and no government has since then showed the slightest interest in it. Three basic reforms are of utmost necessity: appointment of judges of the Supreme Court and the high courts; a fair but practicable procedures for their removal for proven 'misconduct'; and, at least, disciplinary measures, short of removal, against judges guilty of an impropriety which falls short of 'misconduct'. Even after the adoption of the 16-point code of conduct for the higher judiciary in May 1997 and the resolution approved by the chief justices' conference thereafter, the nation is no wiser about the existence, composition or procedure of the 'in-house' mechanism for probing judicial misdemeanor. The higher judiciary, in the name of judicial independence, continues to function without being accountable to the public.

Keywords:   National Judicial Commission, appointment of judges, transfer of judges, reforms, judicial misdemeanor, judicial independence

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