From the Editor-in-Chief: Let the Chief Justice’s concerns be taken seriously

Enayetullah Khan
Thursday, May 25th, 2017
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Chief Justice S.K. Sinha asked Attorney General Mahbubey Alam the other day to convey a message to the government. It was a simple, terse message — that the judiciary was becoming hobbled owing to non-cooperation from the law ministry. We believe the message is serious enough to warrant the attention of everyone who matters in the State, particularly in the executive branch of government.

 

Given the fact that of late there has been a rather good deal of tension between the judiciary and the executive, it is only proper that public worries about the situation are allayed to the satisfaction of every citizen. The Chief Justice has been expressing his concerns over the role of certain sections of the executive in thwarting efforts by the judiciary, at various levels, to carry out its constitutional role. To be sure, the government, particularly the Prime Minister and the Law Minister, have denied that there is any gap in the interaction between the executive and the judiciary. What now must be done is for the government to go out on a limb to reassure Justice Sinha and everyone else worried about the disagreements which have come to the fore that the three branches of the State — the executive, the judiciary, the legislative — will indeed be operating independently of one another and yet in perfect coordination with one another.

 

In a democracy, or a developing democracy like ours, it is important that there be good and constructive engagement between all branches of government. The mark of a strong, purposeful State lies in the way its officials, at all levels of the State, conduct themselves and carry out their particular, well-defined responsibilities, all in the larger interest of citizens. It is in such a perspective that the Chief Justice’s message to the government on the issue of non-cooperation from the law ministry needs to be taken into serious account. We trust that what is necessary as a result of the CJ’s suggestion will be done and that bureaucratic impediments will not come in the way of ensuring a smooth functioning of the judiciary.

 

Democracy entails a clear line of work for the State where the duties and responsibilities of one branch of it do not overlap with those of another. There should be no room for ambiguity or ambivalence here.

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