Constitutional limits must for state organs: PM

PM Manmohan Singh has said the judiciary, legislature and executive should not exceed their respective powers as enshrined in the Constitution.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the judiciary, legislature and executive should not exceed their respective powers as enshrined in the Constitution, but work in harmony to maximise public good.

"It is assumed that none of the organs of the state,
whether it is the judiciary or the executive or the
legislature, would exceed its powers as laid down in the
Constitution," Singh said at the national conference on `Law
and Governance` to mark the Golden Jubilee of the Bar
Association of India (BAI).

"Even though their jurisdiction may be separated and
demarcated, it is expected that all institutions would work in
harmony and in tandem to maximise the public good," he said.

Referring to one of the topics to be debated at the meet,
Singh said the doctrine of `separation of powers` was
acknowledged as one of the basic features of the Constitution.

"It is also commonly agreed that all the three organs of
the state, namely the Legislature, the Judiciary and the
Executive, are bound by and subject to provisions of the
Constitution, which demarcates their respective powers,
jurisdictions, responsibilities and relationship with one
another," he said.

Singh said lawyers were an integral part of India`s system
of administration of justice and they had a role, which was
not confined to courts and advising clients.

"The role of lawyers is not confined to courts alone or
advising the clients in business deals. It extends to being an
integral part of our system of administration of justice - and
justice is not just in the legal sense, but justice - social,
economic and political - as set out in the preamble of our
Constitution," he said.

Noting that lawyers had historically contributed
handsomely to each of the areas of justice, whether during
Independence struggle, framing of the Constitution or just
government, the Prime Minister said even today outstanding
lawyers were part of his Cabinet, some of whom had been
members of BAI.

"The BAI too has a larger objective beyond the furtherance
of professional interests. It aims at promoting public and
national welfare in manifold directions and upholding the
Constitution of India and the Rule of Law," he added.
Singh said the BAI has always maintained very high
standards of professional ethics and values and recalled the
history of the association through its 50 years of existence.

"One of the most outstanding features of the activities of
BAI is its commitment to society, especially the less
privileged sections. It is gratifying to note that it has
contributed significantly at the time of natural and manmade
calamities like the Latur and Bhuj earthquakes and the Tsunami
and in providing legal aid to the families of Kargil war
martyrs," he added.

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said India`s judiciary was
the largest in ensuring the rule of law, which stood on the
shoulders of the lawyers who are the link between the citizens
and the judiciary.

"They play an important role and sensitive lawyers are the
need of the hour. We have to do everything to ensure this.
That is why we have initiated a reforms package starting with
the National Legal Mission looking at governance issues by
evolving a litigation policy, an arrears grid and to provide
an effective infrastructure," he added.

Mooting the idea of having e-courts and e-governance, a
means of justice delivery through the Internet, Moily said the
idea was to have an e-court in every High Court, and one in
every district of the country within a year.


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