Don’t behave like emperors, Apex Court tells judges | india | Hindustan Times
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Don’t behave like emperors, Apex Court tells judges

india Updated: Dec 11, 2007 05:00 IST
Satya Prakash
Satya Prakash
Hindustan Times
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The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on judicial activism, warning judges that they must exercise restraint or else politicians may curtail their independence.

“If the judiciary does not exercise restraint and overstretches its limits, there is bound to be a reaction from politicians and others. The politicians will then step in and curtail the powers, or even the independence of the judiciary,” the court observed.

<b1>The court took strong exception to the Delhi High Court’s recent intervention in cases like nursery admissions, free beds for the poor in hospitals, misuse of ambulances, begging in public, Bluelines, unauthorised constructions and road accidents.

"In our opinion these were matters pertaining exclusively to the executive or legislative domain. If there is a law, judges can certainly enforce it, but judges cannot create a law and seek to enforce it,” the bench, comprising Justice AK Mathur and Justice Markandey Katju, said.

"Judges must know their limits and must not try to run the government. They must have modesty and humility, and not behave like emperors. There is a broad separation of powers under the Constitution and no organ of the State — the legislature, the executive and the judiciary — should encroach into each other’s domain,” the court said.

"We are compelled to make these observations because we are repeatedly coming across cases where judges are unjustifiably trying to perform executive or legislative functions,” the bench said.