Cautioning against ‘judicial activism’ leading to the dilution of powers, president Pranab Mukherjee advocated for a balance between the judiciary, executive and legislature organs of the state.
Speaking at the fourth Retreat of Judges of the Supreme Court at the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal, president Mukherjee emphasised that the “Constitution is supreme”, and advocated restraint in dealing with situations.
“Each organ of our democracy must function within its own sphere and must not take over what is assigned to the others. The balance of power between the three organs of the state is enshrined in our Constitution. The equilibrium in the exercise of authority must be maintained at all times,” he said, adding that the Constitution was a “living document…, a magna carta of socio-economic transformation”.
Holding the judiciary’s role as “sacrosanct”, he hailed it for expanding the common law principle of ‘locus standi’, a legal premise by which one may pursue a case, but said judicial activism “should not lead to the dilution of separation of powers”.
“It has been made possible for courts to permit anyone with sufficient interest and acting bona fide to maintain an action for judicial redress, and to activate the judicial process. This has helped to bring justice closer to the common man. The faith and confidence people have reposed in the judiciary must always be maintained.”
At the same time, he stressed on the importance of a quick delivery for efficient jurisprudence. Justice must be accessible, affordable and quick. He also expressed concern over pendency of a huge number of cases in courts, and said courts were being overburdened by these.
The pendency of cases was also dependent upon the number of vacancies in the courts.
Since the start of the year, as many as 145 appointments have been made as on April 12, 2016 by the Collegium, the President said, and complimented the efforts of Chief Justice of India, Justice TS Thakur, for speedily filing up the vacancies in the high courts and the Supreme Court.
He also congratulated judges for organising the Retreat which, he said, would provide a forum to discuss contemporary challenges the country is facing.