Apex court seeks to ascertain its legislative and executive powersNovember 11th, 2009 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) The Supreme Court Wednesday decided to examine and ascertain the scope, ambit and extent of its legislative and executive powers through a five-judge constitutional bench.
A two-judge bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly sought to know from a constitution bench if courts can enact laws and implement them as well - the functions which are in exclusive domains of the legislature and the executive.
The bench referred the crucial issue for examination by a constitution bench, expressing reservations over an earlier apex court order that framed guidelines for the conduct of students union elections in colleges and universities across the country.
The bench ordered that the apex court’s legislative and executive powers be ascertained and rejected Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium’s argument that courts are empowered to issue such directions to meet pressing social needs.
“Today there are high prices and large-scale unemployment. These are pressing social needs. But can we pass orders on these to the government? - because we do not have the expertise though we are also affected by the price rise,” the bench remarked.
An apex court bench Sep 22, 2006, on the basis of recommendations of a committee headed by former chief election commissioner J.M. Lyngdoh, issued a series of guidelines for the conduct of students union elections in colleges and universities.
The guidelines envisaged curbing the role of money and muscle power in students union elections, besides fixing other criteria like age bar etc. to ensure clean politics on campuses.
Maintaining that these issue involved “questions of grave constitutional importance”, Justice Katju’s bench Wednesday referred the matter to a constitution bench to be constituted later by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.
The questions that the bench framed for examination by the constitution bench included: “whether the interim order of the apex court on Sep 22, 2006, directing implementation of the Lyngdoh Committee report was valid, whether it amounted to judicial legislation.”
The bench also wanted to know “if judiciary can legislate and, if so, what is the permissible limit for judicial legislation, and if judiciary can cite pressing social problems to pass such judicial directions.”
The judges on the bench took exception to an earlier apex court order framing guidelines for the conduct of students union elections in colleges and universities across the country.
“We (courts) are taking over the functions of the legislature…yes, there are grey areas…we are of the view that this is improper and dangerous for democracy,” the bench said.
- Videograph court proceedings to ensure accurate reporting: Prashant Bhushan - Apr 22, 2012
- Respect judicial independence, Kapadia tells government. - Aug 15, 2012
- Guidelines on media would amount to judicial over-reach, SC told - May 04, 2012
- Supreme Court clears way for JNU students' union polls - Dec 08, 2011
- Impeachment debate: Lawyers say judges' criticism fair - Aug 21, 2011
- Benchmark rulings galore in 2009 (To go with The year apex court judges declared their assets) - Dec 29, 2009
- Judges cannot fix poverty line: Supreme Court - Sep 03, 2012
- Canal water allocation not in judicial domain: Apex court - Jul 25, 2011
- Apex court spared neither holy cows, nor corrupt in 2011 (2011 in Retrospect) - Dec 28, 2011
- Apex court questions JNU on students' union poll - Nov 28, 2011
- Judiciary needs 'more accountability', 'restraint' in activism (Lead) - Apr 24, 2011
- Revisit system of judges' appointment, Supreme Court urged - Apr 04, 2011
- 'Right to fair trial can't overshadow freedom of speech' - Apr 17, 2012
- Demand for details on judges goes to constitutional bench - Nov 26, 2010
- JNU students union seeks more liberal poll norms - May 03, 2010
Tags: ambit, apex, apex court, asok kumar, chief election commissioner, chief justice, colleges and universities, constitution bench, court bench, executive powers, ganguly, gopal, j m lyngdoh, money and muscle, muscle power, New Delhi, solicitor general, students union, subramanium, union elections