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Thursday, November 09, 2006

'For Activist Judges, Try India'

The Great Indian Middle Class having lost all hopes on the political fraternity and the bureaucracy is left with only a solitary succour – the judiciary and more particularly the Supreme Court. The courts can stick to their stand, which most often are for the better of the nation and they have been able to do it with consistency because they aren't directly accountable to the forces of populism.

This is often interpreted as activism, and the legislature is expectedly uncomfortable with the way the things are going and hence a bill proposing a National Judicial Council, which in turn will frame a 'ethics code' for the judges, is waiting for the Cabinet nod.

Things become more interesting if looked through a foreigner's eye, who doesn't have a direct stake or is impacted by what is happening. Time has this story by Simon Robinson (the title of this post is from the story)

If you think the US has a problem with activist judges, take a look at India - this country's judiciary is among the most opinionated and interventionist in the world. The Indian Supreme Court regularly wades into national debates; nudges lawmakers by making its opinions and, therefore, its possible future rulings, known; and criticizes government policies. The judges' contribution certainly adds a wonderful air of rowdiness to the public discourse of the world's biggest democracy, but it can sometimes seem that the Supreme Court, as much as the government, runs the country...


Sachin R K said...

There *is* a big difference between the US and Indian judiciary. Where the US judges are confronted with the constitutional validity of same sex unions, abortions etc , our judges have to deal with more mundane matters- the quantum of bus fare hike, school fees that can be charged, demolitions of illegal constructions etc. But what else can you expect when the Legislature and the Executive have time for only politicking and not governance.

Soumyadip said...

Sachin How much we may curse the US, these guys do have an effective system in place to run their nation. We have a lot to learn besides their accent.