'Separation of power binding on judiciary too'

'Separation of power binding on judiciary too'

The government on Wednesday said that separation of power enshrined in the Constitution was as binding on the judiciary, the legislature and the executive.

“There are certain basic structures of the Constitution and separation of powers is also a basic structure. By separation of power, I mean executive, Parliament and the judiciary will do their own functions – Parliament to enact, executive to formulate and execute and judiciary to interpret,” Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in the Lok Sabha. “In this light, if the separation of power principle is binding on all, I am sorry to say that it is equally binding on the judiciary,” Prasad said during the Question Hour. The minister made the remark as the Lok Sabha saw several members expressing displeasure over what they perceived was transgression of the Supreme Court into the domain of Parliament.

Asking queries supplementary to his question, BJP MP Sanjay Jaiswal said that the Supreme Court was getting into the area of law making, be it in the area of cricket management or in the area of admission to medical colleges.

Several MPs from the BJP and other parties supported Jaiswal’s remark by thumping the desk, though a part of it was expunged from the record of the proceedings of the House.

Prasad referred to the government’s bid to set up the National Judicial Appointments Commission, which would have been responsible for appointment and transfer of judges to the higher judiciary.

A bill to amend the Constitution to set up the National Judicial Commission (NJAC) was passed by Parliament in August 2014. But the Supreme Court struck down the act in December 2015.“We came with the National Judicial Commission Act with complete consensus. The Supreme Court challenged it and they held that it impinges upon the independence of the judiciary...But we have accepted the judgement for the sake of judicial efficiency and appointment,” said Prasad.

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