Judicial Activism Current Affairs - 2019
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Former Chief Justice of India Prafullachandra Natwarlal Bhagwati who is considered as a pioneer of Judicial Activism has passed away. Justice Bhagwati was 95 years old.
Justice Bhagwati introduced the concepts of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and absolute liability to the Indian judicial system. He made the famous ruling that there was no need for a person to have any Locus Standi to approach the court on the issue of fundamental rights.
One of the important judgments passed by him was in the Maneka Gandhi passport impounding case of 1978. In this case, he ruled that a person had full right to hold a passport and his/her movement cannot be restricted. He also ruled that the prisoners too enjoyed fundamental rights.
Justice Bhagwati took part in the freedom movement and courted arrest in 1942. Justice Bhagwati graduated in law from Government Law College, Bombay. He started his practice in Bombay High Court and became a judge of the Gujarat High Court in 1960. Justice Bhagwati was a former Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court and later appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court in July 1973.
Justice PN Bhagwati served as the 17th Chief Justice of India from July 1985 to December 1986.
Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha has voiced his concerns about the growing attempts by various stakeholders to interfere and encroach upon judicial independence.
He asserted that in times where Indian executive and legislature has lost its sheen due to humongous number of scams and wrongdoings, judiciary plays a very important part in maintaining the sanctity of the democracy. No attempt to curtail or contain judicial independence will be allowed as judiciary has an inherent ability to ward-off all such challenges.
He did not directly touch the new law which has found safe passage in the Parliament, to put an abrupt end to the collegiums system, he firmly stated that no such law or effort to undermine judiciary will succeed. The recently active Supreme Court has taken the role of an active watchman under the blanket of judicial activism, is enough to check the Constitutional excesses committed by the lawmakers.
He reiterated the fact that judicial independence ensures public confidence as an institute of the last resort where justice will be served despite any opposition and influence. People place high credibility and trust in the judiciary to get justice in case of any kind of misconduct by the executive. The latter clause and confidence will be meaningless if executive interference is allowed or tailored into the process of judicial appointments.
The CJI told the legal fraternity to keep away people who “play tricks to taint judiciary” stating any form of corruption in judiciary “shield impurity which is the worst form of aliment in thriving democracy.” “I won’t speak on the issue (the Bill) but I would touch upon the issue of independence of judiciary which is very dear to me. It is one thing which is non-negotiable,” Justice Lodha, who is leaving office as CJI on 27 September, said. “Having been a judge of high courts and the Supreme Court for more than two decades, 21 years, I can say with confidence that judiciary has the inherent strength and no effort would succeed in taking away the independence of judiciary,” he said.