Andhra Pradesh

Accountability missing after elections: Jasti Chelameswar

Supreme Court former judge Jasti Chelameswar speaking at a programme in Vijayawada on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: GIRI KVS

Former Judge of the Supreme Court Jasti Chelameswar has said that the tendency to “celebrate elections once in five years and act as per one’s whims and fancies after coming to power” is growing in the country.

“During a brief chat with former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah, at his swearing-in as CJI, had expressed the view that the Judiciary and the Executive should have a ‘proper relationship’ but not a ‘cordial relationship’ as such,” Mr. Chelameswar said on Wednesday.

“The Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary should understand each other well. There should be effective scrutiny at all the levels,” Mr. Chelameswar observed while delivering a talk on ‘Judiciary V/s Executive: Division of powers and unwarranted interference’, organised by the Andhra Arts Academy (AAA) and the AP Editors’ Association (APEA) here.

Mr. Chelameswar said the days of inhuman punishments such as skinning a person alive and igniting incendiary material stuffed in ears had gone hundreds of years ago. Kings and kingdoms also faded into oblivion, he said.

As civilizations grew, human beings started having well-defined governance structures as they realised that concentration of power in the hands of a few would have dangerous consequences, he said.

India too had an elaborate Constitution, but as it was in the very nature of humans, powers were being misused and the fact that judges were also fallible was undisputed, Mr. Chelameswar observed.

‘Democracy jeopardised’

It was to correct such judges that the difficult theoretical proposition of impeachment, which was an altogether different story in practice, had been introduced, he said, and added that this system should not be whimsical, as otherwise the judges would not be able to do their job.

“Today, the ruling parties are blindly endorsing the decisions taken by the governments by exercising their brute majorities in Parliament and State Legislatures. The Opposition parties are finding fault with everything done by the governments. Democracy is thus jeopardised as its three wings are more often than not working at cross purposes,” Mr. Chelameswar asserted.

In her address, Andhra Pradesh Telugu and Sanskrit Akademi chairperson N. Lakshmi Parvathi said a few court orders were hindering development activity in the State.

The government wanted to usher in reforms in the education sector and implement housing project for the poor, but the stay orders halted these welfare programmes, Ms. Parvathi said.

“Corrective measures are needed to prevent the collapse of the system,” she said.

Stating that the Legislature, the Executive, the Judiciary and the media were the pillars of democracy, she said each pillar should act within its domain.

‘Judicial activism’

“Judicial activism has been a cause for concern over the years,” she observed. There were a few laws that protected the wrong-doers, she said, and called for amendments.

Former CBI Joint Director V.V. Lakshminarayana, A.P. FiberNet chairman P. Gowtham Reddy, former RTI Commissioner P. Vijay Babu, and A.P. Intellectuals’ Forum president Chalasani Srinivas spoke about the adverse impact of the democratic institutions transgressing their boundaries.

A.P. Hindi Academy chairman Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad, BJP leader Chandu Sambasiva Rao, AAA president Golla Narayana Rao, and APEA president V.V.R. Krishnam Raju spoke.


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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 3:55:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/accountability-missing-after-elections-jasti-chelameswar/article37202828.ece

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