The Supreme Court has dismissed a public interest petition seeking to restrain the government from going ahead with the India-US civil nuclear deal without legislative approval. The court said the Constitution did not debar the government from signing an international treaty without parliamentary approval.
“There is nothing in the Constitution which prevents the government from signing a treaty (without approval of Parliament),” a bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, which had earlier dismissed two other petitions on the issue, said on Friday.
Petitioner M Ravi Prakash, a Bangalore-based lawyer, contended that the Centre could not enter into an agreement with a foreign country without getting it cleared by Parliament.
The court’s observations assume significance because the Left parties, which are supporting the UPA, have been demanding that the government should not rush through the deal without parliamentary approval.
The court asked Prakash to show a provision of a law mandating Parliament’s approval for such an agreement. “Hundreds of treaties are being signed by the government. Is there any provision which prevents the government from entering into treaties?”
‘Strict punishment for abductors’ Expressing concern over the alarming rise in kidnapping of children for ransom, the Supreme Court has said those convicted of such offences deserve stringent punishment.
A bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat refused to show any leniency to nine gangsters sentenced to life for kidnapping a schoolboy for a ransom of Rs 10 lakh in Haryana in 1996.
Dismissing the appeal of Vinod, one of the convicts, the bench said: “Considering the alarming rise in kidnapping of young children for ransom, the legislature has in its wisdom provided for stringent sentence.”