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Governance is executive’s domain, all should appreciate the ‘Lakshman Rekha’: Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad

Prasad said that the time has come to restate more clearly the noble narrative of PIL. He also added that Public Interest Litigations were originally intended to allow the marginalised and deprived to be heard.

Exerting their right over the ‘executive’ domain, the Union Law Minister on Monday in the presence of the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi pointed out the ‘over-reach’ of the country’s judiciary into the executive domain of the elected government. Law Minister Prasad made these observations at the Constitution Day function organised by the Supreme Court on Monday.

According to reports, Ravi Shankar Prasad asserted the rights of the government against the recent judicial interventions regarding governance and policy issues, he said that judiciary has to decide ‘how far’ it can go in taking over power on issues of governance as he stressed the need for all organs to appreciate the proverbial ‘Lakshman Rekha’.

“Governance is a highly complicated exercise, maybe there is a need to reflect within as to how far the judiciary needs to go. That is for the judiciary to decide,” he said. Prasad further said that there are lots of “competing interests, a lot of complicated claims, a lot of other vested interests” that needs to be understood when running a government.

“Yes, I understand the temptation with the greatest respect. But mere temptation should not lead to taking over of the power that leads to a larger narrative of some reflection,” he said.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad speaking on ‘separation of powers’ between the legislature, he said that the Constitutional morality must be defined with clarity and that it cannot change from judge to judge. Speaking at the event, he said, “We hear about Constitutional morality, we appreciate innovations but nuances of Constitutional morality should be outlined with clarity and should not differ from judge to judge and there must be a consensus.”

Taking a strong note on the misuse of PIL in the guise of the activism, Prasad said that the time has come to restate more clearly the noble narrative of PIL. He also added that Public Interest Litigations were originally intended to allow the marginalised and deprived to be heard.

Law Minister Prasad has often spoken regarding the over-reach by the judiciary, saying law-making must be left within the realm of those elected to make the law. Referring to the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act, an alternative to the existing collegium, which was struck down by the Supreme Court, Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government accepted the judgment despite having certain reservations on some of the reasons given when it was struck down.

Ravi Shankar Prasad’s statements come amidst the ongoing show of strength by the country’s judiciary with excessive interventions into both legislative and executive domains of the state. Augmenting this overreach, the judiciary of the country has been facing severe criticism across the country for the delay in hearing certain important cases while delivering some controversial judgements interfering with age-old religious customs.

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