Chief Justice of India (CJI) TS Thakur on Saturday said if the judiciary intervenes to tell the government to act for the welfare of the people, it can’t be termed judicial “overreach”.
The statement was made at a state-level workshop organised at Jammu University. “There needs to be a social audit of the government for inordinate delay in implementing laws and clearing proposals,” he said. The CJI, who hails from J-K, spoke on ‘Workers in unorganised sector — Their aspirations, challenges and the way forward’ .
“The judiciary is working at almost half its strength. We cleared 150 appointments for the high court. When people are crying for justice, people are languishing in jail, I don’t understand why the government is sitting over the proposal for the past two months. There needs to be a mechanism,” he said.
The J-K government implemented the Central Building And Other Construction Workers Act, 1996, in 2006 but the board was constituted in 2010. Thakur said the J-K government took about 12 years to constitute the J-K Building And Other Construction Workers Welfare Board, which is a basic requirement for implementing the Act.
He said the judiciary does not “overreach” for its personal glorification but to ensure that people’s rights are safeguarded. “If you show apathy towards your legal obligation and then the judiciary intervenes to tell you that you need to act, I will not call it overreach. It’s actually the protection of the rights of the people for whom these laws have been made,” he said.