Minister, CJI differ on judicial activism

Minister, CJI differ on judicial activism

Minister, CJI differ on judicial activism

A Union Minister of Law and Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra on Saturday differed over the issue of judicial activism at a conference on the occasion of National Law Day.

Addressing the conference, Union Minister of State for Law and Justice P P Chaudhary said judicial activism was an outcome of judiciary's independence and should be lauded as long as it stayed away from the realm of policy.

Chaudhary said, "But quite apart from this, is another species of judicial activism where the judiciary is also stepping into areas that are, strictly speaking, in the realm of policy."

Taking the floor after the minister, the CJI dismissed the perception of judicial activism, saying protection of fundamental rights of citizens is the "sacrosanct duty of the judiciary" and it is obliged to stand with citizens if government entities "encroach" upon their fundamental rights.

Justice Misra said, "There is a perception that there is judicial activism... I must clarify protection of fundamental rights of each and every citizen is the sacrosanct duty of the judiciary that has been conferred by the Constitution."

The CJI also said the judiciary has no desire to make policy. "Nobody intends, nobody desires, to enter the policy making areas. We don't make policies but we interpret policies and that's our job," he said.

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