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EditorialSC’s judicial activism serious!

SC’s judicial activism serious!

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SC's judicial activism serious!

The extra-ordinary judicial activism that the Apex Court of has shown the other day seems improper though the intent behind it may be good. Supreme Court is now threatening to appoint a Lokpal if the government and Parliament do not pass an amendment to the 2013 Lokpal law which would allow the selection of the Lokpal chairperson and members.

Since there is no Leader of the Opposition in Parliament as no party qualifies for that status and as required, one of the members of the Lokpal selection panel has to be the Leader of the Opposition, the law needs to be amended first to accommodate the leader of the largest Opposition party.

The Congress, which is the largest Opposition party, does not have the requisite numerical strength of 10 per cent of the Lok Sabha for its leader to be designated as Leader of the Opposition. With the government's apparent lack of interest in getting the Lokpal institution going and the frequent disruptions of Parliament by the Opposition's negative tactics, the Lokpal amendment has been hanging fire.

But while the apex court is well within its authority to pull up the government and Parliament for the delay, it is debatable whether the court can arrogate to itself the right to appoint the Lokpal and its members. If this is a threat aimed at getting the government to act, it is fine because the appointment of a Lokpal would be a step for public good, but if it actually goes ahead and appoints, it would amount to judicial overreach which the Supreme Court is being increasingly accused of in recent days especially under Chief Justice Thakur.

Nevertheless, the court is right in raising the question whether it is legitimate for the government to allow a law enacted by Parliament to become redundant.

The Modi government must indeed take the apex court's observations in a positive spirit and take immediate steps to get the amendment to the Lokpal Act passed so that the institution of Lokpal becomes functional.

If then it is the Opposition that acts as a roadblock, the government can always point that out to the apex court. The positive intent of the government must, however, come out clearly which is not so at present.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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