Admitting a decline in the values of all institutions including the judiciary, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said, "perhaps the worst has come from here (apex court)."
During the hearing of an appeal accusing the Madhya Pradesh government of misusing its discretionary power in allotting institutional land, a bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and Justice A K Ganguly expressed regret over the trend of decline that began within the highest temple of judiciary way back in the 70s.
It concurred with senior advocate Ravi Shankar Prasad that the Supreme Court of today could not be compared with that of the 1950s."Yes, the worst has come from here (apex court). It started in the 70s. In 1976 and then again in 1986 when the court allowed discretionary allotments to the President, Prime Minister, ministers and even to the judges," the bench remarked. "And we must accept this," it added candidly.
This is second time the SC has expressed regret for delivering the 1976 judgement that held a citizen's right to life and liberty could be suspended during the emergency that lasted from June 1975 to March 1977.
The apex court expressed its anguish when Prasad, agreeing with the bench over abuse of discretionary powers by various governments, said there was a decline in the moral values of all pillars of democracy. "There is a decline even of this institution (judiciary)," he contended, adding: "We must, however, trust the inner strength of democracy."
Prasad's made this argument when the bench lambasted at his client, the Madhya Pradesh government, for misusing its discretionary powers. "Every state government now allots land to those who have money or power. Discretionary allotment has become a malaise. It was meant for public good but in the past 50 years we have witnessed its converse," the bench said.
It added the common man who abides by the law always feels he is a fool.