New Delhi: In a balancing act, Union Law
Minister Salman Khurshid said that while it was for the courts
to decide as to who should be locked up, the dictum of bail
being the rule and jail an exception has been laid down by the
Supreme Court itself.
Elaborating on his controversial statement that the
judiciary needs to understand the `political economy` in the
country, Khurshid said last night that "it is not for me
to lock up people, it is for the courts to decide".
At the same time, he recalled that the Supreme Court
had laid down the law "bail is the rule, jail is an
The Law Minister was speaking in the backdrop of his
comment, "if you lock up top businessmen, will investment
come", which was termed as "disturbing" by the Supreme Court
Khurshid said his comments had nothing to do with the
2G case but agreed with the questioner that a lot of people
think that many of those long detained in the scam had been
deprived of their liberty.
In a changing society every institution has to respond
to the demands of changing time and the courts had done that
in the case of protection of environment for which they needed
to be complimented.
Similarly, "the demands of our time are that we must
appreciate what dissent is", the minister said adding that it
was the Supreme Court that had given bail to Maoist
sympathiser Binayak Sen without saying that he was guiltless.
"They (the apex court) said he will be tried. If he
is wrong he will be punished. But that is no reason to
keep him in prison. They gave him bail," Khurshid said
describing the order as "brilliant".
He went on to ask, "But when economic issues come does
the Supreme Court pay the same attention to developing
economic issues as the rest of us do".