Speaker not final authority: Lahoti
FORMER CHIEF Justice R C Lahoti while replying to queries at ?Meet the Press? conference at the Indore Press Club today, said that the Constitution has not granted the final authority to the Lok Sabha Speaker, when asked to comment on Somnath Chatterji?s refusal to accept the Supreme Court notice in connection with expulsion of MPs caught on camera for taking bribes.india Updated: Jan 31, 2006 12:42 IST
FORMER CHIEF Justice R C Lahoti while replying to queries at ‘Meet the Press’ conference at the Indore Press Club today, said that the Constitution has not granted the final authority to the Lok Sabha Speaker, when asked to comment on Somnath Chatterji’s refusal to accept the Supreme Court notice in connection with expulsion of MPs caught on camera for taking bribes.
Settling the question of superiority, he said that it is the judiciary whose decision prevails when legislature or executive oversteps its limit. “But if we want judiciary to be independent, the power to supervise judiciary should rest with itself,” he remarked.
Elaborating further, he said the formation of law, which was envisaged in Article 105 of Constitution to decide whether Parliament should superimpose, has yet to be legislated. The former CJI, however, refused to term it a conflict and said that it is a difference of opinion. ‘Healthy difference of opinions can be compared to ocean churning from which solutions emerge and democracy is strengthened,” he said.
When told that corruption has set in judiciary, he said it was minimum compared to other departments. He added, “Judges are no saints. They cannot be expected to remain unaffected from society where the rot has set in.”
Justice Lahoti expressed the need for raising the standard of law education in the country to enable Indian lawyers to compete globally. “Out present law education institutions are not world class. It is therefore important that we invite experts from institutes like Harvard or Chicago Law School to teach here and vice-versa.”
Avoiding reply to a query, whether the Indian government was disinterested to hold educational exchange programmes, he said that some of top India born legal experts in US, are willing to serve free in the country but they do not get invited. He added that service conditions of judges need improvement to attract brilliant law students to the posts of judges as they are presently being recruited by multinationals on high pay packages.
On attempts to tide over the backlog of court cases, he stressed on increasing the number of judges and informed that against the international standard of having 101 judges per 10 lakh population, India has 12.5 per cent judges per 10 lakh population. But reflecting on the positive side, he said that the introduction of total Information Communication Technology in judiciary would connect tehsil court with Supreme Court through Internet in next five years.