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Judge bats for judicial restraint

india Updated: Jan 13, 2009 00:55 IST

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A Supreme Court bench disagreed openly about hearing a petition on PILs against the transfers and appointments in the bureaucracy and police.

While hearing a case involving P.C. Pandey’s functioning as the DGP of Gujarat, Justice Marakandey Katju said, “There should be a lakshman rekha for judiciary. It is not the jurisdiction of the judiciary to interfere with transfers and postings of police and executive.” Justice Sirpurkar, however, distanced himself from the observations.

In 2006 an NGO called Citizens for Justice and Peace had challenged the appointment of Pandey as DGP alleging there were several complaints against him relating to the post-Godhra riots. Pandey was later removed by the Election Commission, before the Gujarat polls. But the PIL has assumed importance in light of the disagreements that have surfaced in the judiciary.

Later during the hearing Justice Katju observed, “atrocities may have been committed against the Muslims and caused disgrace but it (the Supreme Court) cannot entertain petitions on the transfers and appointments of bureaucrats and police officers”.