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New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana on Saturday said the three organs of the state should be mindful of the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ between them, adding that the constitution provides for the separation of powers.
Speaking at the Joint Conference of Chief Ministers and Chief Justices of High Courts, Ramana said deliberate inaction by governments despite judicial pronouncements is not good for the health of democracy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the joint conference. He said local languages should be encouraged in courts.
Expanding on the delineating of powers, the CJI said, “It is the harmonious and coordinated functioning among the three organs of the state that has preserved and strengthened the democratic foundation of this great nation over the last seven decades.”
He said the judiciary will never come in the way of governance – if it is in accordance with the law.
The key to good governance is the constitution, he said, lamenting that the opinions of law departments are often not sought in the rush to implement executive decisions.
He criticised ‘ambiguities’ in legislation, saying they add to legal issues. “If the legislature passes a law with clarity of thought, foresight and people’s welfare in mind, the scope of litigation is minimised,” he said.
Ramana also said a large number of cases that are pending before courts deal with inter and intra department disputes and disputes between public sector undertakings and the government. “It is beyond my understanding… why these issues end up in court,” he said.
He then addressed concerns that people may have about the judiciary – referring to issues of timely delivery of justice and pendency in courts. He praised judges, saying the burden on them and the number of cases disposed by them is “unimaginable”.
CJI Ramana then expressed concern over frivolous litigations in courts and said the concept of public interest litigation (PIL) has now turned into “personal interest litigation: and is at times being misused to stall projects or put pressure on public authorities.
“These days, PIL has become a tool for those who want to settle political scores or corporate rivalry. Realising the potential for misuse, courts are now highly cautious in entertaining the same,” Ramana said.
According to the Indian Express, Modi said encouraging local languages in courts “will not only increase the confidence of common citizens in the justice system, but they will feel more connected to it”.
He said as the country completes 75 years of Independence, the focus should be on creating a judicial system “where justice is easily available, is quick and for everyone”.
Modi also appealed to the chief ministers to repeal “outdated laws” to make the delivery of justice easier. “In 2015, we identified about 1,800 laws which had become irrelevant. Out of these, 1,450 such laws of the Centre were abolished. But, only 75 such laws have been abolished by the states,” he said, according to the Indian Express.