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Thursday, October 24, 2019


The great seal of truth


Enforcers of law must win in the clash with law makers
VIKASH KUMAR | Issue Dated: October 8, 2006
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The great seal of truth It is said that if you wear a mask long enough, you’ll have to peel some of your skin off with it when you take out the mask. For long, it had become almost birthright to break the law in Delhi. So much so that when, forced by Supreme Court’s diktats, the demolition of illegal structures began in December 2005, there was disbelief! The government tried its best to get around the court orders, and failed. But now, they’re trying again.

On September 20, 2006, traders had shut shop against the sealing of unauthorised structures; and a child & two other people were killed in related demonstrations. Feeling the heat, Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy indicated that the government wanted a special session of Parliament to get past the court again. “It is the Parliament’s prerogative to make the law and not the judiciary’s,” touted Reddy. For those who remember, in July 2006, the government had put a moratorium on sealing via an ordinance. The apex court had then blasted the government & ordered the sealing drive to resume from September 1. On September 21, the Centre filed an affidavit in the apex court to stop the sealing again...

The battle between the legislature and judiciary has been happening for a while. They recently even locked horns over the cash-for-query scam. “I am not going to submit before the court,” Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had snappily orated, when some expelled MPs moved court to set aside his order (of expulsion). Parliament has every right to make a law. But the apex court’s existence ensures that the Constitution is obeyed in letter and spirit. If only our dear politicians were able to show the same verve & speed in ratifying pending bills... Sigh...
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017