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Pranab asks judiciary to regulate itself


KOLKATA, May 6, 2013


Says this will help the three organs of the government “maintain a fine balance” essential for the success of a parliamentary democracy

The success of a parliamentary democracy depended on “maintaining a fine balance” between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, President Pranab Mukherjee said in Kolkata on Sunday as he called upon the judiciary to come up with a mechanism to “ self-discipline itself” to maintain the balance.

“It is responsibility of the judiciary to innovate a mechanism to self-discipline itself and maintain the balance,” he said.

Delivering the valedictory lecture to mark the conclusion of the Calcutta High Court’s sesquicentennial celebrations, Mr. Mukherjee said the “independence of the judiciary is sacrosanct.” “The judiciary is in a better position to control both the legislature and the executive. But neither of these two wings [executive and judiciary] has the power to control judiciary because that would simply be disastrous,” he said.

Pointing out that people had “very high expectations” from the judiciary, he said when its member dispensed justice they were looked upon as “representatives of a given divine power.” “Please ponder how you can come up to the expectations of the people. How you can make us proud to keep our heads high as the largest functional democracy of the world.”

The President praised the judiciary for taking up issues through public interest litigation, as a result of which“a man from the remotest part of the country can write a post card to the Chief Justice of largest functional democracy and can get justice.”

Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir, who also spoke at the event, urged members of the judiciary to deliver justice “tempered with sensitivity and social cause.” Refereeing to the pending cases before courts, he said though it was a cause for concern judges should not to go on a “disposal spree.” He urged judges to ensure dispensation of justice without letting quality suffer. “By disposing of matters without hearing people, without hearing counsels, you are doing more injustice than justice,” he said, adding the administration should ensure justice meted out by the courts was acted upon.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said it would be better for people if “the legislature, executive and the judiciary work together.”