Monday, 27 November 2017

Government-judiciary tug of war on public display again

Government-judiciary tug of war on public display again

NEW DELHI: The push and pull between the judiciary and the executive was on display again on Sunday, with law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying the balance of power was sometimes under strain due to judicial overreach while Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said governance was too complex to be compartmentalised.
CJI Misra said governance could not be defined by a mathematical formula and refuted the suggestion that the judiciary was overstepping its domain. “The Supreme Court believes we are working under constitutional sovereignty and we are bound by the rule of law,” he said, adding that one single religion that every citizen should follow was constitutional religion.
“I must clearly state that the fundamental rights of a citizen have to be kept at the pinnacle. There is no trace of a doubt that no right is absolute but the fetters imposed are to be scrutinised with studied caution so that an ambiguous concept does not destroy the central fabric,” the CJI said.
CJI Misra elaborated on the theme and said, “The essence of rule of law signifies supremacy of law and predominance of legal spirit, which inevitably leads to good governance as opposed to arbitrariness. This principle survives and thrives through numerous provisions under the Constitution which make room for the executive and independent judiciary. And that requires all of us to humbly and dutifully accept the principle of constitutional sovereignty.”
Earlier, the law minister hinted that the judiciary had sometimes encroached on the domain of other organs and said, “The balance needs to be respected and fostered. It has come under strain sometimes. Let me make it clear that public interest litigation should not be made a substitute for governance. The elected representatives of people have been given the right to govern. The founding fathers of the Constitution said that governance must remain with those who were elected by people.”
Also speaking on the occasion of Constitution Day, President Ram Nath Kovind said, “It is critical to keep this intricate and delicate balance in mind when exploring the relationship between the three branches of the state — that is, the judiciary, the legislature and the executive. And yet, they should be careful not to disturb the fraternity of the separation of powers by even unknowingly intruding into the domain of either of the two other branches.”
Speaking later, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, avoided any pointed references and said the three pillars of executive, legislature and judiciary must work together for a new India.
The three pillars of democracy were all members of one family and should work together to strengthen one another, Modi said.
Attorney general K K Venugopal expressed concern over the misuse of PILs and said guidelines should be framed on what type of PIL should be entertained by courts. Referring to the 2G verdict, he said the judiciary passed an order which had wide ramifications for the economy and foreign investment in the country and the courts must take the government into confidence before deciding such issues.

Source” TOI


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