Judiciary must leave governance, law-making to Parliament: Ravi Shankar Prasad | htls | Hindustan Times
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Judiciary must leave governance, law-making to Parliament: Ravi Shankar Prasad

At the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad expressed concern over the time taken by courts to decide cases and the problem of pendency.

htls Updated: Dec 02, 2017 10:55 IST
Ashok Bagriya
Ashok Bagriya
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi on Friday.
Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi on Friday.(Virendra Singh Gosain / HT )

Judiciary must leave law-making to Parliament, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Friday, calling upon judges to respect the constitutional principle of separation of powers.

Prasad’s comments come in the backdrop of the government’s criticism of judicial activism, the latest point of friction between the executive and judiciary.

“We are proud of the judiciary and are committed to its independence. If the executive makes a mistake, the judiciary must step in. But my problem is with governance. Governance and policy making must be left to those who are entrusted with the task,” Prasad said at the 15th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

The law minister also expressed concern over the time taken by courts to decide cases and the problem of pendency of cases.

“Cases have been languishing for 10 or more years and it is a problem. The government has taken an initiative to address this, and focus is now on disposal of cases...Courts are now working on Saturdays and Sundays too,” he said.

Prasad also talked about other initiatives of the government which include enforcement of institutional arbitration and changes in the law to make contracts between parties stronger.

A few days ago, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley had also flayed judicial activism, which he said was often borne out of the belief that when other institutions are not doing their job “somebody has to fill the gap.

“This is a flawed argument. What if the same argument was used the other way round against the judiciary? Cases are pending, judges are not doing the job. So must somebody step in and now exercise that power? The answer is no,” Jaitley had said.

The judiciary and executive have been at loggerheads since October 2015 when the Supreme Court struck down a law that allowed government interference in judicial appointments.

Passed by Parliament, the law ended a decades-old collegium procedure under which judges appoint judges, unique to India.