Caption: Justice Kurian Joseph
When for the first time Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was conceived by a Supreme Court Judge and the case was heard, it was a big news. However, many did not think it would become embedded in our legal and judicial system as we see it today. If injustice is perceived in administration that would harm the interest of the public, a good Samaritan or an NGO could go to the Court seeking justice.
Of course, it was not well taken by the authorities, the government. The PIL was branded as a new kind of judicial activism usurping upon the government’s powers and duties. In such an atmosphere of unease caused by jibes from politicians and bureaucrats at PIL and judicial activism, it was Justice Kurian Joseph of the Supreme Court, like other Judges earlier, who had the gumption to assert that it was the “solemn” duty of a Judge to curb “legislative adventurism and executive excesses.”
Justice Kurian Joseph further said that in Public Interest it is the duty of the Judge to make up for the lapses on the part of the executive. He was delivering the 5th Lala Amarchand Sood Memorial Lecture in Shimla recently. He has rightly rung the bell of warning to the people of this country about the increasing excesses of the executive while extolling the role of the Supreme Court in pioneering PILs to curb such excesses.
Justice Kurian Joseph said the PIL enabled Judges to make issues like housing, education, food and health “constitutional social rights” of citizens that are “indivisible from the fundamental rights of a citizen to life, equality and religion.”
But what is the remedy when the government commits excesses and lapses like it happened in Karnataka by officially observing Tipu Jayanti, a controversial King who lived in the 18th century? And we are living in the 21st century, to remind Chief Minister Siddharamaiah. What could be the intention of the Government to celebrate Tipu Jayanti? Karnataka Congress governme...more