Political opposition translates into hostility, not a sign of healthy democracy: CJI Ramana: The Tribune India
Jaipur, July 16
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said on Saturday that political opposition translates into hostility which is not a sign of a healthy democracy and asserted that a strong parliamentary democracy requires “strengthening of the opposition too”.
There used to be mutual respect between government and opposition, but space for the opposition is shrinking and laws are passed without detailed deliberation and scrutiny, he lamented at an event here.
The CJI said the people expect the court to balance legislative and executive excesses and this grows in seriousness, especially when the opposition is missing.
Instead of engaging in meaningful debates to advance democracy, politics became acrimonious, he said.
“Diversity of opinion enriches politics and society. Political opposition must not turn into hostility, which unfortunately we are witnessing these days. These are not signs of a healthy democracy,” said CJI Ramana.
He was speaking at an event organized at the Rajasthan Assembly by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) on “75 years of parliamentary democracy”.
Ramana, at an earlier event, said unfilled judiciary vacancies were the main reason for the huge backlog of cases after Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju pointed out the backlog five crore of such cases.
The CJI also called for action to address the “serious” problem of the high number of prisoners on trial affecting the criminal justice system, saying there is a need to challenge the procedures that lead to prolonged incarceration. without any trial.
Out of 6.10 lakh prisoners in the country, nearly 80% are remand prisoners, he said at an event here and lamented that in the criminal justice system, the process “is a punishment “.
At the Rajasthan assembly event, the CJI raised concerns about the quality of legislative performance.
“Before, there was mutual respect between the government and the opposition. Unfortunately, the space for the opposition is shrinking,” he said. “Unfortunately, the country is witnessing a decline in the quality of legislative performance,” he said, adding that laws were passed without detailed deliberations and scrutiny.
He said if each wing of the state operated efficiently and responsibly, the burden on the others would be greatly reduced.
If the general administration is carried out efficiently by the officers, a legislator need not labor to provide basic amenities to his electorate.
He said the Constitution does not specify the minimum number of days the state assembly must meet each year. However, there is no doubt that citizens will certainly benefit from longer commitments.
Stressing the importance of parliamentary debates and parliamentary committees, the CJI said that strengthening parliamentary democracy also requires strengthening the opposition.
“Opposition leaders used to play a leading role. There used to be a lot of mutual respect between the government and the opposition. Unfortunately, the opposition space is shrinking. We are seeing laws being passed without detailed deliberation and scrutiny,” he said.
He said growing state intervention in people’s lives, public dissatisfaction with the other two wings and growing rights awareness have raised public expectations of power. judicial.
In a modern democracy, the people expect the court to balance legislative and executive excesses. It grows in seriousness, especially whenever the opposition misses the call, he said.
Ramana said that as a judge he sometimes wonders how to trace the legislative intent behind legislative texts. Instead of engaging in meaningful debates to advance democracy, politics became acrimonious, he added.
The CJI said that a strong, dynamic and active opposition helps improve governance and corrects the functioning of government. In an ideal world, it is the cooperative functioning of government and opposition that will lead to a progressive democracy.
Referring to his views on the declining quality of debate on Independence Day last year, he said his comments were seen in some quarters as a criticism of lawmakers.
“When I expressed these sentiments, my only concern was the burden imposed on the judiciary by the imperfections of the legislation. “If bills are debated thoroughly and impartially and all well-meaning suggestions are taken account, we will have better laws. Flawless laws save the judiciary from the avoidable burden of litigation,” he said.
He also suggested that lawmakers receive quality assistance from legal professionals so that they can contribute meaningfully to the debates. He said law-making is a complicated process and not every legislator can be expected to have a legal background.
CJI urged young people to be in touch with past and present issues. He said that in today’s world, true empowerment lies in true awareness.
“Be aware, be informed and only you can decide your destiny. The future of this nation depends on your active participation in public life,” he told PTI