SC blames govt for abuse of discretionary powers

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New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) Expressing anguish over abuse ofdiscretionary powers by politicians and officials, the SupremeCourt today said perhaps "the worse" had set in during the1975 Emergency when the judiciary had upheld certain perceivedillegalities.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and Asok Kumar Gangulyconcurred with the views of senior counsel Ravishankar Prasadand Ranjit Kumar that there was a decline in the moral valuesof all pillars of democracy in the country including thejudiciary.

In 1976, a five-judge Constitution Bench had upheld theIndira Gandhi'' government''s decision to suspend thefundamental rights.

"Yes, the worse has come from here(apex court). Itstarted in the 70s...in 1976, then again in 1986 the MarutiUdyog discretionary allotments to the President, PrimeMinister, Lok Sabha Speaker and even the judges themselveswhich was upheld in the judgement," the bench remarked.

The bench made the remarks after senior counsel andformer union minister Ravishankar Prasad submitted that therewas a decline in the values of all institutions including theSupreme Court.

"The Supreme Court of today is not what it was 50 yearsago, " he said when the bench was expressing its ire at theabuse of discretionary powers by government functionaries.

The apex court said the common man who abides by the lawtoday feels that he is a "fool" as bureacrats, MPs and MLAsabuse discretionary powers enjoyed by them.

"The man who abides by the law feels he is a fool. Everyperson who has the discretionary power has abused it. They maybe MPs/MLAs. We are not referring to any party," the benchremarked.

The bench''s remarks came during the hearing of PILchallenging allotment of 39 acres of prime land in Bhopal cityby Madhya Pradesh''s BJP government in 2006 to Kushabhai ThakreTraining Institution named after the late BJP leader. PTI RB

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