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AIR spotlight summary: Balance between Legislature, Executive and Judiciary


AIR spotlight summary: Balance between Legislature, Executive and Judiciary


 

Context:

PM has stressed the need to ensure the balance between judiciary, legislature and executive. He underlines the need of three organs to work together and fulfil the aspirations of the people. Speaking at the valedictory session of the National Law day, PM said maintaining the balance among three organs is a backbone of our constitution.

How do you really see the entire situation between judiciary on one side and Executive on the other?

The question of fine balance among three organs of the state has been discussed over a period of time. It is always a live issue. The point is that constitution has maintained a fine balance in terms of structural harmony and functional harmony.

If there is a slight deviation in this balance then the functional harmony of the state will get disrupted. However, India as a democratic country it ensured that its different organs are working in harmony with each other most of the time.

Why this question arises?

This question arose not in vacuum but in certain context. Perhaps the immediate provocation is the rejection of NJAC Act by the SC.

The question of selection of judges by the collegium of judges has been an issue on which there are different opinions.  Judiciary wants primacy that is absolute right over selection of judges.

An organ of the state stepping into the domain of the other organ happened many times. Some of the Steps taken by the judiciary, for instance In Delhi when the pollution levels are rising alarmingly affecting the people’s health, judiciary gave an order to use CNG vehicles.

In fact, there is no denial that the decision helped to bring down the pollution level but the point arose was whether it is the function of the judiciary. 

It is the function of the government. But unfortunately government did not take any action. So judiciary stepped into this. This is the main reason for the rift between Judiciary and Legislature.

If a particular organ is failed in discharging its legitimate duty and its responsibility towards the people another organ steps in and try to correct it.

Another example of Judicial overreach is some years ago in an assembly entire functioning of the assembly was set by the SC. SC issued directions as to how the assemble should conduct its proceedings in a particular context.

This is something which judiciary cannot do under the constitution. It is the legislature to decide the proceedings according to the rules of Procedure.

Some course correction has to be made

Judiciary can step in only when the fundamental rights of the citizens are violated. It is in this context PM has specifically spoken on the Constitution day. He said “we are making every attempt to build India on the lines of the significance of these principles enshrined in the constitution.”

So in the overall context he says that every effort should be made in to ensure that the three organs of the State should not come into conflict.  Because, the areas where they should operate is clearly mentioned in the constitution.

However, we are a society which is evolving and norms are changing. During this some encroachments may happen. This encroach has main been necessitated in the past because the government has not intervened effectively in a particular given situation.

When we say that there should be a harmony among the organs we must also make sure that the conditions are created where that balance is able to be maintained.

The conflict appears to be between judiciary on one side and the law makers or legislature on the other side

Legislature makes the law and judiciary examines the validity of the law to ensure that it is in accordance with the constitution.

Judicial review has become part of a basic structure. So, judicial review occupies such an important position in the whole scheme of things.

PM also quoted from the SC verdicts in 1967 Golakanath vs State of Punjab case. The PM went on to say that the verdict in these cases have clearly mentioned the need to maintain a balance among the three organs.

No rigid system of separation of powers

Separation of powers has been discussed many times by the judiciary.  But we don’t have a very rigid system of separation of powers. Judiciary can review legislative process and executive also has the legislative power. For instance, under Art 123, President can promulgate an ordinance which is a law that has same effect as an act of parliament. Judges are also empowered to make a law in the sense that they can interpret the law and can fill the gaps if that is very necessary do to full justice to the issue.

Conclusion

There has to be some kind of understanding that needs to be reached. Three organs should be acutely conscious of the limits of their domain and the responsibility for maintaining a balance. Occasionally there may be an overlapping that bound to happen because ours Is a very dynamic society. But the important thing to note is that we have the systemic ability to correct distortions whenever they happen and that kind of a self-correction is part of our system.