A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul made the observation while refusing the Centre's plea that erickshaws be allowed to ply on the basis of the interim guidelines devised by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and listed the matter for further hearing on August 28.
The bench also suggested to the Centre, represented by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, that "if there is a gap in the law, then the executive can act and fill it up." "Why should we direct you? You do it. Fill up the vacuum with executive order. Where Legislature has acted and there is a law (Motor Vehicles Act), if there is any gap in the law the Executive can act and fill it up," the bench said, adding, "We have to be clear about what we are doing. Can't do it just like that."
The court also observed that according to the Supreme Court's Vishaka judgement, the Executive has the power to fill the vacuum in the absence of suitable legislation. The ASG, however, wanted directions from the court to the Centre to fill up the "vacuum".
"High Court may direct us to do it," the ASG said, adding there is no unwillingness on the part of the government and the only problem in the instant matter is the "time lag". "The issue here is of right to livelihood of poor people," she said, seeking interim orders from the court. The bench, however, refused to pass any orders till the next date of hearing.