ibnlive » India

Sep 12, 2009 at 12:43pm IST

Govt tightens belt, wishes judges pitch in

New Delhi: The Government has asked ministers and MPs to tighten their belts and be thrifty to help fight recession. And it would appreciate if judges pitch in too.

Law Minister Veerappa Moily, in an interview to CNN-IBN, has said that judiciary should respond to the “agony of the people or realities of the society”.

CNN-IBN’s Pallavi Ghosh asked Moily if he believed there should be some kind of austerity for judges.

“Judiciary is an autonomous entity. It is for them to adopt austerity measures from time to time - after all it is responding to the agony of the people or realities of the society. There is nothing wrong if the judiciary responds to it,” he replied.

A CNN-IBN report in May 2008 had led officials to admit that foreign visits by judges have been curtailed by a third. The Prime Minister's Office has since then refused permission to a number of requests for foreign visits by judges.

According to guidelines, judges should avoid travelling abroad if their court is in session. For High Courts, if the trip is necessary, only one judge should represent the court.

Invitations by non-governmental institutes should be politely refused.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government has launched an austerity drive, asking all ministers to practise thrift by travelling economy class on domestic flights and avoid five-star hotels as meeting venues. Congress MPs too have been asked to follow austerity measures.

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