Lokpal is not for PM, says ex- CJI

FPJ BureauUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2019, 08:31 AM IST
article-image

Former chief justice of India JS Verma also comes out against Anna Hazares threat to go on fast and describes it as undemocratic

In parliamentary democracy, which we have adopted, the Prime Minister is accountable only to Parliam

ent…’JS VERMA Former chief justice of India

New Delhi It would be a mistake to bring the judiciary and the Prime Minister under the Lokpals ambit, former chief justice of India J. S. Verma has said, adding this would go against the basic structure of the constitution. I dont think so. In parliamentary democracy, which we have adopted, the Prime Minister is accountable only to Parliament, Verma said, explaining why he has reservations on the civil right activistsdemand to bring the PM within the ambit of the Lokpal.

Also, he pointed out, since the Prime Minister is covered under ordinary law ( Prevention of Corruption Act), there is no need to have him covered under Lokpal as well. You cant have the Prime Minister under the Lokpal because you cant have Presidents rule at the Centre, Verma told Karan Thapar in his Devils Advocate programme aired on CNN- IBN channel.

The former chief justice is also dead against the higher judiciary being brought within the ambit of the Lokpal.

Absolutely not… It would be a mistake. It will foul with the basic structure of the constitution. Judicial review is a basic feature of the constitution… for which an independent judiciary is essential, said Verma.

He also points out that if the independence of the judiciary is affected, then the separation of powers, which is intrinsic to our Constitution, would also be damaged.

The subordinate judiciary, he explains, is also subject to control only of the higher judiciary.

Likewise, Article 235 and Article 124 of the Constitution provide for a separate law to be enacted for dealing with proven misbehavior of the High Court and Supreme Court judges.

The judiciary under the constitution is the custodian of the rule of law. Ultimately the democratic structure will be effected. So, the judiciary must not come under Lokpal, said Verma, who also headed the National Human Rights Commission from 2000 to 2003.

He also said that the debate on bringing judges under the Lokpal is worrying sitting judges, especially the circularity of accountability.

Under it, on the one hand, the Lokpal has the powers to investigate charges, and, on the other hand, the same judges have the power to question decisions about the behaviour of the Lokpal.

He also termed as undemocratic Gandhian Anna Hazares threat to again go on a hunger CONTD. ON P2

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Either hike fare price or 40 per cent discount on CNG, demand Mumbai rickshaw drivers

Either hike fare price or 40 per cent discount on CNG, demand Mumbai rickshaw drivers

Mumbai updates: Supreme Court to hear petitions on Aarey forest tree cutting today

Mumbai updates: Supreme Court to hear petitions on Aarey forest tree cutting today

COVID-19: Govt approves Biological E's Corbevax booster shot for Covaxin & Covishield beneficiaries

COVID-19: Govt approves Biological E's Corbevax booster shot for Covaxin & Covishield beneficiaries

Mumbai: SC to hear petitions today on tree cutting in Aarey forest

Mumbai: SC to hear petitions today on tree cutting in Aarey forest

SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia gets bail in Punjab NDPS case

SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia gets bail in Punjab NDPS case