‘Do judges want to run govt?’: Andhra Pradesh speaker kicks up a row
Speaking to reporters in Tirupati on Thursday, Sitaram found fault with the latest court judgments which questioned certain policy decisions of the state government and gave directions on various issues.Updated: Jul 03, 2020 18:13 IST
Andhra Pradesh state assembly speaker Tammineni Sitaram has triggered a controversy by accusing the judiciary of interfering in the policy decisions of the popularly elected state government.
“If the court can decide as to what the state government should do, what is the purpose of elections, why should people elect MLAs and MPs, why should the chief minister be there to rule, why is there an assembly and a speaker? Do the judges want to directly run the government and rule the state from court halls?” the assembly speaker told reporters after having darshan of Lord Venkateswara in Tiurupati.
Sitaram’s comments come in the wake of a series of judgments by the state high court in the recent past that went against the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party government.
The judgments range from ordering a CBI probe into the assault on a Dalit doctor, reinstatement of retired IAS officer Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar as state election commissioner, removal of YSRCP colours on the government buildings and striking down the suspension of former state intelligence chief AB Venkateshwar Rao.
“We have seen some judgments from the courts in the recent past. The Constitution of India has enunciated certain duties, responsibilities and powers to legislature, executive and judiciary and indicated that they should not interfere into each other’s functioning. Yet, the courts are directly trespassing the powers of the popularly elected government,” Sitaram said.
The state speaker questioned how the courts could direct the state government to take or not to take decisions. “The authors of the Constitution would not have expected that such a situation would arise in future. Otherwise, they would have suggested some way out,” he said, adding that the intellectuals should debate on the recent court decisions dictating terms to the government.
If the governments did something wrong, the speaker continued, the people who voted a party to the power would defeat it in the next elections. “We have to respect the people’s mandate. The governments will run in tune with the people’s aspirations,” he said.
Senior TDP leader and Rajya Sabha member Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar on Friday said it was not correct on the part of the assembly speaker to attack the courts just because they delivered judgments against the government.
“If power goes to one’s head, one would only find fault with the judiciary and Constitution. Sitaram should make it clear whether he had made the comments in the capacity of the assembly speaker of the YSR Congress Party member,” he said.
Kumar said the Supreme Court had made it clear several times in the past that the governments, irrespective of the majority they have in the legislature, should function within the limits of the Constitution.
“The courts will definitely interfere, if the governments take decisions in violation of the Constitution. The judiciary has the powers to review the government’s decisions,” he said.