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'Public Posturing From Judicial Platforms Not Good ': Vice President Hits Out At Supreme Court Again; Says He Declined AG's Message

11 Jan 2023 11:19 AM GMT
Public Posturing From Judicial Platforms Not Good : Vice President Hits Out At Supreme Court Again; Says He Declined AGs Message

Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar (Courtesy : Sansad TV)

"Public posturing from judicial platforms is not good", said Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar in a fresh criticism against the judiciary, ignoring the disapproval expressed by the Supreme Court of his earlier public comments on the collegium system.

Dhankhar said that he was surprised when the Supreme Court judges told the Attorney General to convey its displeasure to constitutional authorities. He was referring to the hearing in the case relating to judges appointment which took place on December 8, when the Court - after taking exception to certain comments about collegium system- asked the Attorney General to advise the government functionaries to exercise control.

"Friends, I have declined to undertake the Attorney General on this point", Dhankar said while speaking at inaugural function of the 83rd All-India Presiding Officers Conference in Jaipur today.

Once again criticising the Supreme Court judgment which overturned the NJAC, Dhankhar said that all organs of state must confine themselves to their respective domains.

"Legislature cannot discuss court judgment. Likewise, the Court cannot legislate. It is very clear. Aaj ka haalat kya hain(what is the situation today). One-upmanship. Public posturing. Public posturing from judicial platforms. Ye teek nahi hain(this is not correct). These institutions must know how to conduct themselves. There can be deliberations. But using these platforms for public consumption....mujhe bada aascharya hua, shresht nyayalay ke nyayadipad gan ne Attorney General ko kaha ki high constitutional authority ko message do(I became very surprised when the judges of the honourable court asked the Attorney General to give message to high constitutional authority).

Friends, I have declined to undertake the Attorney General on this point. I cannot be a party to emasculate the power of legislature. I have been solider of judiciary. I have highest respect for judiciary. I have been part of judiciary by training by profession. I do respect it through the position I hold. Through this august platform, I will appeal to them, we all have to confine to our deep sense of propriety, self-respect and commitment to constitution. Dialgoue through public platforms is not a wholesome mechanism of communication".

Questions basic structure doctrine, says Parliament has ultimate power

The Vice President also questioned the basic structure doctrine formulated by the Supreme Court, as per which the Parliament cannot amend the features forming the basic structure of the Constitution.

Stating that the people who get elected to become the members of the legislature are talented and experienced in various fields, he said :

"In a democratic society, basic of any basic structure is supremacy of people, sovereignty of the Parliament. The executive thrives on the sovereignty of the Parliament. The ultimate power is with the legislature. Legislature also decides who will be there in other institutions. In such a situation , all institutions must confine to their domains. One must not make incursion in the domain of others".

Referring to the Supreme Court's judgment in the Keshavananda Bharati case, he said : "In 1973, in the case of Kesavananda Bharati, Supreme Court gave the idea of basic structure, that Parliament can amend the Constitution but not its basic structure. With due respect to judiciary, I cannot subscribe to this. This must be deliberated. Can this be done? Can Parliament allow that its verdict will be subject to any other authority? In my maiden address after I assumed the office of Chairman of Rajya Sabha, I said this. I am not in doubt about it. Yeh nahi ho sakta ha (this cannot happen)".

Otherwise it will be difficult to say that we are a democratic nation, he said. The Vice President then spoke about how the NJAC, which was unanimously passed by both the houses of the Parliament and ratified by majority of state legislatures, was nullified by the Supreme Court.

"Duniya me aise kahi nahi hua hain(Such a thing has not taken place anywhere else in the world). How can Parliament's sovereignty be compromised?", he asked.

It may be noted that Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, on two occasions - in his maiden Rajya Sabha speech and at an earlier public function - had criticised the Supreme Court's judgment overturning the NJAC.

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