Overdose of judicial activism threatening parliamentary democracy

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Kolkata, Jan 30 (UNI) Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today said excessive judicial activism was posing a threat to parliamentary democracy in India in recent years.

''The judiciary can scrutinise an order of the executive or review a law by the legislative but it cannot take an executive action,'' he said adding, ''It is violation of the Constitution.'' In a ''Meet the Press'' at Press Club here, the Speaker said, ''Who will decide whether a Public Interest Litigation is right or wrong. Judiciary has no accountability to the people, but Parliament has.'' Mr Chatterjee was reacting to Calcutta High Court's ruling on January 28 prohibiting Book Sellers and Publishers Guild to hold the 33rd Kolkata Book Fair at Park Circus Maidan on the basis of a PIL case.

Asked how this judicial activism could be stopped, Mr Chatterjee said the country needed more alert judges.

He said even many former judges of the Supreme Court were apprehensive of the judicial activism and they questioned the limits of the judiciary under the Constitution.

The Spearker said he would not comment much on the merit of the Kolkata Book Fair judgment but this was unfortunate not to have the fair. He asked whether holding of Durga Puja in Kolkata could be stopped just because of taffic jam every year.

Mr Chatterjee, taking a dig at some party activists, observed that there was a tendency among them to scuttle the proceeding of Parliament for vested interests.

Without naming any party, the Speaker expressed concern over disruption of discussion on important issues in Parliament and in Legislative Assemblies because of some parties preferred scuttling of proceedings.

He urged the media to report objectively the proceedings of the Lok Sabha and Assembly so that people could know what their representaives were doing for the country.

He also regretted that the pace in newspapers was gradually reducing on legislative news.

He said the Fourth Estate was a pivotal pillar for successful democracy and it could really tell the people what their leaders were doing for them.

Mr Chatterjee also asked the educated masses of the country to take interest in parliamentary democracy or else the best institution in the country would suffer.


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