Thursday, April 21, 2016

Judicial highhandedness

The High Court of Uttarakhand did not cover itself with glory when it thundered,  " the president of India is not infallible and he, too, can go wrong. Therefore, the President's decision is open to judicial scrutiny.

"Absolute power can spoil anybody's mind. Even the president can go wrong and in such cases his decisions can be subjected to scrutiny. Indian courts have the power to scrutinize all orders."

This factual statement could have been conveyed better by avoiding the belligerent tone.

The court ought to have remembered that it too is not infallible. The court felt offended that there was an apprehension that the central government might revoke the president's rule before the court's decision was announced. The court is not supposed to work on the basis of apprehensions. Even if the central government ventured to revoke the Article 356 proclamation in a hurry, the government's action would continue to be justiciable. Courts exist to pronounce its views on legality or otherwise of actions. It is not in their remit to preempt apprehended actions even when their (actions') legality is arguable.

To use the current fashionable word, the court has only exposed its own 'intolerance' towards a political act. The majestic court has only demeaned itself by being 'pained' over a political controversy.

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