Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Hats off to SC for upholding rule of law: Dr. JP

The Supreme Court has demonstrated its judicial wisdom and commitment to constitutionalism and rule of law in its two verdicts concerning the polity, said Lok Satta Party national President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan in a media statement here today.

Dr. JP was referring to the Supreme Court’s recent order about the persons to be appointed to central and state information commissions and its refusal to exempt convicted legislators from disqualification.

Dr. JP pointed out that in the last 25 years, the Supreme Court has emerged as the nation’s most trusted institution. Through its two latest verdicts, the apex court has established the majesty of the higher judiciary and earned the esteem of the public.

At the same time, Dr. JP said, the Supreme Court is not infallible. During the Emergency, the Supreme Court failed to protect people’s lives in the habeas corpus case. The apex court usurped the power to appoint judges against all canons of constitutionalism and democratic governance. In a self-serving order earlier, the Court ruled that only Judges and Jurists could be appointed as members of autonomous bodies and quasi-judicial authorities. It delivered a bizarre verdict in holding NEET as unconstitutional. It has done immense harm to the economy by imposing blanket bans on mining.

The Court now wisely reversed its ruling on appointments to Information Commissions, and corrected its error. Similarly, the Court’s Order quashing Sec 8(4) of the RP Act, and holding that legislators convicted of a crime are disqualified from contesting is a sound an unassailable verdict. By rejecting government’s plea to review its judgment, the Court acted with wisdom and fairness.

Dr. JP said that the Supreme Court should focus on being the guardian of the Constitution and refrain from encroaching on executive authority or indulging in judicial overreach. It is restraint and wisdom that gives the Supreme Court greater credibility. The Supreme Court, he said, has displayed great humility and willingness to correct past mistakes by reversing its earlier order on appointments to information commissions.

Dr. JP said that checks and balances are the hallmarks of a well functioning democracy. The legislature, executive and judiciary should all work with clarity, humility and balance to protect liberty and promote prosperity.

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