Judiciary must appreciate practical difficulties: Khurshid

July 13th, 2011 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, July 13 (IANS) The judiciary must appreciate the “pragmatic and practical difficulties” of running the political system as it also comes from the same system, Law Minister Salman Khurshid said Wednesday.

Speaking to newsmen after assuming charge of the ministry here, he said: “(The) pragmatic and practical difficulties of running the political system (are) not alien to the judiciary because ultimately judiciary also comes from the same system.”

On the recent verdicts of the Supreme Court annulling the decisions taken by the government, Khurshid said: “I think they (the judiciary and the government) should appreciate each others’ compulsions but by keeping an eye on the constitutional mandate, which is frankly ultimately safeguarded by the judiciary.”

Calling for a formal and informal dialogue between the government and the judiciary, he said that we should not be “detracted by specific issues on which we may have different compulsions” and described the dialogue as the “dialogue of democracy”.

Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia brilliantly articulated this when he said that the judiciary, the executive and parliament should respect each others’ operational areas, said Khurshid.

But to say “something in a lecture and implementing the same institutionally and effectively in day to day decision-making requires efforts and endeavours on both the sides”, he said.

Khurshid’s remarks assume significance in the wake of a series of decisions unfavourable to the government taken in the recent past by the apex court including the one on quashing the appointment of P.J. Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner and pulling up the government for inaction in tracking black money stashed away in tax havens.

The apex court also made strong observations on engaging ill-trained special police officers from among the tribals of Chhattisgarh to counter the Maoists. The court is also monitoring the investigations into the 2G scam.

There was some divergence (between the government and the judiciary) in terms of priorities and articulation and these things have to be worked out, Khurshid said.

Dismissing the impression that the government and the judiciary were not on the best of terms, the minister said: “To tell you honestly, we are both looking in the same direction. Our objectives, which are stated or unstated, articulate or inarticulate, are the same which is to provide in modern democracy a transparent and effective system of policing ourselves and giving the best governance.”

He said we should acknowledge the advances made in the law and in governance because of the initiatives taken by the judiciary.

Khurshid also talked about the challenges facing the ministry and touched upon the question of appointment of judges, modernisation of infrastructure of the subordinate judiciary, filling of vacancies, judicial delays and reforms.

He said that he was familiar with the initiatives taken by his predecessor M. Veerappa Moily and these would continue uninterrupted.

He said he favoured an “effective, efficient and quick” justice delivery system.

On the resignation of Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam, the law minister said that he was briefed by the officials on the issue and would discuss the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and take a decision soon.

On the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary, the minister said that the change in the system of appointments should be through consensus, shunning confrontation.

He said that all stakeholders would be taken on board before deciding on the new procedure for the appointment of judges.

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