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Judiciary should not legislate: Somnath Chatterjee

Monday 8 August 2005, by RAMAVARMAN*T.

Prerogative of the Prime Minister to select his Council of Ministers

MULANKUNNATHUKAVU (THRISSUR DISTRICT): Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said here on Sunday that there was a need for maintaining the balance of power between the different pillars of democracy. The judiciary should not interfere in the activities of the executive and Parliament, he added.

He was replying to questions on recent judicial pronouncements at a press conference at the Kerala Institute of Local Administration.

"It is the prerogative of the Prime Minister to decide who should be inducted into his Ministry from the team of MPs elected by the people. I don’t know how the courts can intervene in such issues," he said.

"There may be differences in views about the conduct of the judges. For example, the former Chief Justice of India had said that nearly 20 per cent of the judges are corrupt. I don’t want to say anything on this. But such controversies may crop up occasionally. So it will be better that each estate of democracy restricts [itself] to its respective realm of function." "The judiciary can only interpret law; it should not strive to make law. The courts may desire many things. But it is for the legislators to make the law. The Government, of course, brings in the law, but no one should deprive the rights of legislators to make the law."

He had received notices from MPs for discussions on the alleged interference of courts but "I’m yet to decide on the notices."

Replying to questions, Mr. Chatterjee said he was against the local area development schemes for MPs and MLAs as they interfered with the planning process initiated by the local bodies. Also, there were allegations of mismanagement and corruption with regard to the utilisation of funds.

"The CAG and activist-researchers like Era Sezhiyan have raised such complaints. I have forwarded those complaints to the Chairman of the Parliamentary committee on MP Local Area Development Scheme (LADS)."

See online : The Hindu

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