'Netas with criminal charges put constitution under threat'

Former High Court Judge H N Nagamohan Das on Wednesday raised concerns over the safety of the Constitution of India, given the background of elected representatives in the nation.

Addressing the gathering of judges and advocates during the National Law Day organised by the District Judiciary in association with the Mysuru Bar Association, at ZP hall, Das said, in the existing Lok Sabha, 34 pc of the MPs were with criminal background. The number of such members of Parliament with criminal cases had risen by four per cent, compared to 30 pc in the previous Lok Sabha, and 28 pc in 14th LS, he added.

Das rued that advocates these days were failing to make it to public life. The profession was not producing eminent persons with leadership abilities like in the past. “In Karnataka, most of the chief ministers from Kadidal Manjappa to M Veerappa Moily were advocates, while at the national level Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and several others had dabbled in the field for a while,” he said.

Das also said that apart from those with criminal background, affluent and influential persons comprised 82 pc of the members in the current Lok Sabha.

“Is Indian Constitution really safe, with no member representing the trade bodies and the plebian classes?” he said.

He also rued that tentacles of corruption had not even spared the judiciary, and that the impeachment process adopted in the judiciary to check corruption at higher level of the fraternity was “impractical”.

“In the last 50 years, only one judge has been impeached on graft charges,” he said.
Das also advocated for the decentralisation of power, with the district courts being granted with the power to settle cases related to local bodies, instead of forcing petitioners to knock on the doors of the High Court.

Blaming the State government for the delay in disposing most of the cases related to land acquisition, and Motor Vehicle Act, Das said this had hindered delivery of speedy justice. Similarly, burning issues like Cauvery river water sharing and Right to Education among several others, could be settled among the respective government agencies, instead of dragging them to Courts.
DH News Service

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