Constitution organs should respect limits: Law Minister

Days after the Supreme Court questioned the government over allowing FDI in retail, Law Minister Ashwani Kumar has said the judiciary, the executive and the legislature should respect limits of their jurisdiction and work in harmony with each other.

He also defended a controversial clause in a new Bill which debars judges from making verbal comments against people in open courts, saying the provision has a "strong logic" as observations by judges are often "torn out of context" affecting the reputation of people.

"I would like to only reiterate that the three organs of the state have to work in harmony with each other, respecting the limits of their jurisdiction. I have no hesitation in saying that so far the constitutional parameters of the jurisdiction assigned to each organ have more or less worked in accordance with the scheme of the Constitution and the judges also have themselves stated on a number of occasions that it is not their remit to enter the domain of policy making," he told PTI in an interview.

He was responding to a question on the perception that judiciary was "overreaching" its domain and in this context was referred to the questions raised by the Supreme Court last month over government's decision to allow FDI in retail.

The Supreme Court had asked the government whether FDI in retail was a "political gimmick" and sought its response on how it intends to safeguard the interest of small traders after opening up the retail sector.

Without commenting on the Supreme Court's questions, Kumar said the recent SC judgments have come by way of "reiterating the constitutional boundaries of judicial jurisdiction".

In the wake of the Supreme Court's questions, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma recently said, "All institutions should respect the constitutional demarcation between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary."

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