SC judge takes swipe at govt on ‘judicial overreach’
In unusually blunt remarks, a senior Supreme Court judge on Sunday criticised the government for describing judicial decisions as "overreach", saying those were taken with the aim of protecting environment and the judiciary is not against infrastructure development.
Justice T S Thakur Supreme Court said, "This country knows that if there is today a movement for the protection of environment it is spearheaded by judiciary and judiciary alone." He added, that the judiciary sometimes does transgress the 'Lakshman Rekha' but it is only with the aim of protecting the environment and the right to life of people of this country as guaranteed under the Constitution.
Thakur was responding to remarks made by Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal, at a conference here, that the government has to ensure adequate job opportunities and simultaneously ensure that this economic development is not at the cost of environment degradation.
"However, it is very important to understand that sometime a judicial overreach or sensationalization of a particular subject can cause more damage than growth," Goyal remarked.
The minister said, "I believe pragmatic judicial review of the restrictions is necessary, it is the need of the hour to come to terms with whether our actions are actions to ostensibly save the environment."
Thakur, who is tipped to be the next Chief Justice of India in December, cited the example of government pronouncements on cleaning of Ganga over the years.
"For 20 years the government has been cleaning Ganga and we all know the condition of the holy river after the campaign started, thousands of crores have gone down in the project." He added, it is a political slogan which catches votes and we all know that this can go on for another 20 years.