03 December, 2020

Legislators Markout Their Terrain

Stung to the quick by the recent burst of judicial activism and the consequent damage to their public image, politicians are determined to restore the supremacy of the legislature

Legislators Markout Their Terrain

IN a private gathering with Speaker Purno Sangma on October 12, a little before a symposium on judicial activism was to begin in the Parliament annexe, a group of MPs from various parties let flow a flood of venom against the judiciary. The courts, they fumed, had belittled and blackened the image of the politician—and they saw in this a direct assault on the credibility of Parliament. The situation, all seemed to agree, was drastic enough to warrant drastic measures, like a constitutional amendment.

At the symposium too, the speakers were no less vituperative. MP after MP lamented that Parliament had lost its sovereignty, that the judiciary was exhibiting a dangerous tendency to encroach on legislative and administrative functions beyond its ambit, that the judges were turning populist and playing to the gallery in the recent spate of widely-publicised corruption trials.

Sangma, who had taken the initiative to organise the symposium, was himself very outspoken and articulated the common concern that the elected...



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