Controversy as Indian government seeks to regulate foreign trips of Judges

June 20, 2011 The government of India's has stirred up controversy with a move to implement guidelines for judges who go abroad for private visits. The Delhi High Court has stayed the implementation of the guidelines, after a lawyer filed an application claiming that the executive should not intrude upon the independence of the judiciary. The bench, headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, called the guidelines “over enthusiastic” and sought an explanation from the Government on the memorandum by July 14.

The guidelines provide that judges must seek approval from the Chief Justice of India (CJI) or the Chief Justice of High Court concerned for any foreign visit they wish to make. The application for leave for foreign visits must be made at least 15 days prior to the commencement of the visit.

The guidelines further provide: “During private foreign private visits, the judges may not accept any hospitality from any foreign government/organisation. Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) clearance is needed in case hospitality extended by any foreign national/citizen/organisation is accepted.”


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