On Constitution Day, Law Minister reminds judiciary of ‘separation of powers’

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS) Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday again raked up the perceived “judicial overreach,” saying everyone should appreciate the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ that the Constitution has drawn.

Speaking at the plenary session of the 69th Constitution Day celebrations here, Prasad said it was time to “reinstate” the noble intentions behind the toll of PIL (public interest litigation).

“The separation of powers (among the legislature, executive and the judiciary) is also a basic structure of the Constitution. I think the Lakshman Rekha has to be appreciated by each and everyone,” Prasad said.

He said there was a need to reflect on how far the judiciary could go before it breaches the elected government’s realm.

Prasad has been vocal on the issue and has asserted on various occasions earlier too that policy-making was the prerogative of the elected government and that the higher judiciary must respect this while disposing of PILs.

On Monday, Prasad said the Modi government has been active in making appointments of judges in the high courts – despite its “strong reservations” over the present collegium system — and creating more courtrooms to deal with the high pendency of cases.

“In 2016 we made 126 high court judges’ appointments, which is the highest in the last 20 years. In 2017, we appointed 117 high court judges. And this year till now we have already made 104 high court judges’ appointments,” he said.

Prasad pointed out that since 1989, an average of 70-80 high court judges used to be appointed in a year.



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