The castigation of the Union Government in the strongest possible terms by the Supreme Court for ‘decimating’ the judiciary was an expression of anguish and anger at the inordinate delay in clearing the appointment of judges. The indifference and inaction on the part of the government allows of only one explanation. It is yet to reconcile itself to the scrapping of the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act by the apex court. The government cannot install men and women of its choice as judges at will to preclude independent scrutiny of the exercise of executive power. The appointment of judges in the higher echelons of the judiciary cannot be made in a partisan manner under the guise of nationalism or people’s will, as in the case of Film and Television Institute of India without, compromising on judicial independence. The fallacy of the government lies in supposing that a downgrading of the judiciary is a side-effect of wielding enormous political power with a weak Opposition failing to hold it accountable for the deviations from the previously accepted democratic norms. What is at issue is whether the government can drag its feet indefinitely in giving a nod of approval to the Supreme Court without valid reasons. By putting the new Memorandum of Procedure into cold storage for so long and refusing to go by the existing MoP to clear the names recommended by the Collegium after due diligence, the government has given the impression that expediting action to fill the vacancies for ‘judicial staff’ is not high on its list of priorities.
G David Milton
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Not so easy doing business
We are dismayed at having moved up just one place, from 131 to 130, in the World Bank’s annual ease of doing business rankings. Such indices are but litmus tests that measure data not the undercurrent of an ethos that needs to be instilled and imbibed as matter of socio-political faith by an entity or a nation. And, this can not be achieved by surgical strikes. GST was brought in as one of the enabling tool and yet we seem to let go of the larger picture only to submit to multiple rates and worse many a cess. In a globally linked economy, we will be measured not by our agenda but the patience and will to pursue it to the end. Even this may not be sufficient as we need to constantly match changing global challenges ,with sagacity and foresight.