Be mindful of ‘lakshman rekha’ while discharging duty, says Chief Justice of India NV Ramana
In a joint conference, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that justice should be delivered swiftly and be made easily available to everyone.
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Saturday said that members of the judiciary should should be mindful of a “lakshman rekha”, or a boundary, while discharging their duty, PTI reported.
Ramana was speaking at a joint conference of chief ministers of various states and chief justices of High Courts at Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the discussion.
“The Constitution provides separation of power among three organs and the harmonious function between three organs strengthens democracy,” Ramana said, reported PTI. “While discharging our duty, we should be mindful of ‘lakshman rekha’.”
He said that “deliberate inaction by governments” despite court judgements was not in the best interest of the country’s democracy.
Ramana also spoke about the rampant misuse of public interest litigations “to stall projects” or “to put pressure on authorities”.
“It [public interest litigation] has turned into personal interest litigation, and is used to settle personal scores,” the Chief Justice of India said. “The rising number of frivolous litigations is an area of concern.”
Meanwhile, Modi spoke about the confluence of two sections of the Indian Constitution.
“In our country, while the role of the judiciary is that of the guardian of the Constitution, the legislature represents the aspirations of citizens,” Modi said, reported PTI. “I believe that the confluence of these two will prepare the roadmap for an effective and time-bound judicial system in the country.”
Addressing judges of the High Courts, Modi also encouraged the use of local languages in courtrooms.
“This will not only increase the confidence of common citizens in the justice system but they will feel more connected to it,” he said.
The prime minister urged the chief ministers to ensure smooth delivery of justice by repealing outdated laws in states.
“In 2015, we [the Centre] identified about 1,800 laws which had become irrelevant,” Modi said, reported PTI. “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 that justice should be delivered swiftly and be made easily available to everyone.
This is the second time this week that Modi has addressed the chief ministers.
On Wednesday, Modi held a Covid-19 review meeting with chief ministers of several states. Apart from raising concerns over rising infections in the country, he talked about the value-added tax on fuel.
He specifically told chief ministers of non-BJP ruled states of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu to reduce value-added tax on petrol and diesel.
Modi said that the Centre had cut excise duty on fuel prices in November “to reduce the burden on Indian citizens”. However, he also pointed that despite the Centre urging the state governments to reduce taxes, the prices of petrol and diesel in these states continued to remain high.
“In a way, this is not only injustice to the people of these states but it also has an impact on neighbouring states,” Modi had told the chief ministers.