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