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Apex Court, High Courts are interpreters of Constitution: Nariman

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Dec 5 (UNI) The Apex Court and the High Courts are the final interpreters of the Constitution and Parliament has the power to frame laws, but not enacting judgements, Fali S Nariman, a leading constitutional expert, said today.

Mr Nariman, who was speaking at the H M Seervai Centenary Celebration function at the Bombay High Court here, asked the gathering of lawyers and judges ''What is more important -- the Parliament and State Legislatures or High Court and Supreme Court?'' Talking about the challenges under the Indian Constitution, he said the Constitution does not define the contours or privileges of the Legislatures and Parliament, but the Apex Court and High Courts do.

At the same time, apart from the question of someone's life and liberty, whatever happens within the four walls of the House should be left to its members on account of the privileges provided by the Constitution, Mr Nariman said.

He said one of the biggest challenges faced recently was the ''Cash for Query'' scandal, where media exposed the corrupt members of the House and the same was confirmed by the court.

''Should not we have a provision in the Constitution empowering the members of the House to expel another member for misconduct?'' Mr Nariman, who is also a practising lawyer, asked.

Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court H S Bedi said the court was increasingly being called upon to judge issues that have widespread political implications.

There are many places where the government had failed to provide basic amenities of life under the Constitution such as free education upto the age of 14, he added.

Former chief justice of India M N Venkatachaliah said ''What is fundamental to a country should not be less important than what is fundamental to an individual.'' ''We are actually facing risk to our fundamental rights such as right to life, liberty and freedom in the wake of increasing terrorism, highlighting more challenges before us,'' he added.

Justice F I Rebeillo said healthy law needed enquiry and probe of mind.

The gathering was orgainsed by the three Bar Associations -- Bombay Bar Association, Lawyers' Association of Western India and Incorp Law Society -- on the ocassion of the hundreth birthday of H M Seervai, Padmabhushan and Dadaji Nowroji awardee and the Advocate General of Maharashtra for 17 years (1956-1974).

All the judges of the High Court, including Justices V M Kanade, H L Gokhale, Anoop Mohta, D K Deshmukh, lawyers and Mr Seervai's wife Phiroza Seervai were present on the ocassion.


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