Statue row: Ex CJI disagrees with SC
New Delhi: Former Chief Justice of India JS Verma has disagreed with the apex court's view declining to intervene into the UP cabinet decision on installing statues including that of Chief Minister Mayawati in the state.
"If judiciary can go into the decision of cabinet pertaining to article 356 (in S R Bommai case) and judicial review is available to check the ultra vires of constitutional amendment, then I fail to understand why it cannot go into the statue issue," he said.
He was speaking at a convention on 'City Development: Sustainability and Legal Interface' organised by CII and Bar Association of India.
Justice Verma referred to the order of apex court on July 10 expressing its inability to do anything as the installation of statues (of elephant and UP CM Mayawati) had the mandate of the (state) cabinet to say that the judiciary can very well review a cabinet decision.
Justice Verma also took the political leaders to task for believing that they can do whatever they wish to during their tenure in public offices.
"Policy adopted by various people to do whatever you can while in the office like installing statute in public places..., huge stretch of land is being cleared for the sake of installing statute of elephants, if it is of person it can be said okay," he said.
Justice Verma said felling of trees for the purpose of installation of statues would have serious environmental impact.
"Thousands of trees have been chopped off along the riverbed of Yamuna in Noida which has serious repercussions on rainfall, percolation and consequently on overall water supply," he said.
He said people should speak up against what they believe is wrong to build public pressure and added that there were more laws than needed, the problem lies in their implementation.
"Ministry of forest and Environment had said after the (SC) judgement that we are going to send a team to inspect the matter, I am waiting to see what are the findings of the team," he said.
The former CJI blamed "faulty" government policies and lack of transparency and accountability for the "current mess up" in the process of urbanisation in the country.
He recommended proper use of land in order to effectively deal with the problem of various forms of migration within the country.
"Pressure on land is increasing and is bound to increase because of various forms of migration like rural-urban and urban-urban, the need of the hour is (to have) proper land use and no wastage of land," Justice Verma said.