New Delhi: Days after the Supreme Court ticked off his ministry for sleeping like 'Kumbhakarna', Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said "off the cuffs remarks" made by the Supreme Court "sometimes hurt" the government.
Javadekar, who is also the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, also said it was a "bit sad" when the Supreme Court questioned the government on Leader of Opposition (LoP) issue.
He insisted that three pillars of democracy--judiciary, executive and legislature--should work in a balanced manner to solve all problems related to people of the country.
The Minister stated this while delivering his address at the 4th foundation day celebrations of the National Green Tribunal here in which Supreme Court Judge Ranjan Gogoi was the chief guest.
"At times off the cuff (remarks) come and it is for judiciary to think about it. Sometimes it hurts unnecessarily. Parso meine suna Kumbhakarna hogaya. Kumbhakarna kahan ho gaya...? (The other day, I heard that Kumbhakarna has happened. Where did it happen?)," he said and spoke about the steps taken by the government to address all issues related to cleaning of River Ganga.
Ticking off the Environment ministry for sleeping like 'Kumbhakarna', the Supreme Court two weeks back made it clear that it is not going to lift the stay for setting up of new hydroelectric power projects on Alaknanda and Bhagirath river basins in Uttarakhand unless the Centre comes out with a detailed environment and ecological impact report of each of the 24 ventures.
The court had also wanted to know why the ministry was not acting on its orders requiring placement before it of the report of the 13-member expert committee, which was asked to study environmental degradation caused by such projects.
On the issue of Leader of Opposition, Javadekar said the number of MPs required for claiming LoP status in the Lok Sabha is 55.
"...And it is for the people to decide how many MPs they give to some parties. If people have not given, then what we can do.
"In the seventh Lok Sabha, there was no LoP but nobody said anything. If newspapers write or somebody asks, I can understand. But when you hear from judiciary over this then you do feel a bit sad," Javadekar said.
"Judiciary, executive and parliament are three pillars (of the Constitution). All three are independent from each other...All three have well defined duties...And if they function properly... We will do justice to the country....And to that end I can promise, with cooperation of all systems in place, we as executive will do our bit to serve the country," he said.
Before placing his views on these issues in front of the packed audience majority of whom were law students, Javadekar said he had asked Justice Gogoi whether he can make this remark as he wanted to make sure that it would not become a contempt of court.