Do not be super legislature, advises Chatterjee to judiciary

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Nagpur, Feb 19 (UNI) Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has once again advised the Judiciary not to become a 'super legislature' and refrain from encroaching upon the spheres reserved for other organs of the administration.

Delivering a lecture on 'The role of legislature and judiciary in protecting and enhancing people's right in our democracy' at the High Court Bar Association here yesterday, Mr Chatterjee said the responsibility for managing public affairs should be left to those upon whom the Constitution has given the responsibility.

They are also accountable to the people for the same. Any effort by the Judiciary to take upon itself the responsibility of governing the country would have 'serious implications', he said.

The discharge of executive responsibility by any other authority, however highly-placed, but non-accountable, was anathema in a democracy, Mr Chatterjee added.

Corruption in the Judiciary was dangerous for the polity and more serious than corruption in other organs. The delay in dispensing justice was a matter of extreme concern. The judicial system would need to be overhauled, if even one among five judges was corrupt, and the people would lose faith in the Judiciary, he said.

Lashing out at 'judicial activism', the Speaker said, the constitution contemplated only judicial review and not a super organ, nor conferred overriding authority to any organ of the state.

''It is not within the jurisdiction of the Judiciary to make laws or to lay down general norms of behaviour for the government or to decide upon public policy. Only legislative competence or action of the executive insofar as fundamental rights were concerned, could be examined, while exercising the powers of judicial review,'' the Speaker said.

Criticising the efforts of the Judiciary to find an 'undisclosed' source of power or authority to expand its jurisdiction, Mr Chatterjee asked all the organs to act only according to the Constitutional mandate, failing which, would give rise to avoidable conflicts, thereby affecting the harmonious functioning of the machinery.


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