Cabinet steps open to judicial review: Ex-CJI
TNN 25 July 2009, 12:20am IST
NEW DELHI: Commenting on the recent stand of the Supreme Court over the installation of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati's statues, former
Chief Justice of India J S Verma on Friday said judicial review of Cabinet decisions was relevant and necessary. Verma referred to the major development activities along the Yamuna riverbed including Akshardham and a 33-hectare stretch along the Yamuna riverbed in Noida being turned into a park dotted with the UP chief minister's statues. Earlier this month, the apex court had taken the stand that if the statue installation had been approved by the Cabinet, it could do nothing. Speaking at a convention on sustainable city development and legal interface in the capital organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Verma expressed his reservation about the judiciary taking a lenient view of PILs filed in these two cases, whereas it was necessary for making cities sustainable. Referring to the S R Bommai judgment where he himself was a member of the bench, Verma said the ruling empowered the judiciary to review its decision from time to time. He added that it was because of this judgment that the Central Cabinet decision to dissolve Bihar Assembly and bring the state under President's Rule was entertained for review. He expressed his displeasure over the rejection of PILs in the two cases, which have changed the landscape of the Yamuna riverbed. Verma said he was sharing his view from a citizen's perspective. He added that the government should actively participate to bring in transparency and accountability to the system, which has been seriously lacking. Further justifying growing rural migration to cities, the ex-CJI indicated that the facilities available in Delhi in education and health domains were not available elsewhere, therefore more people migrated here. On the other hand, the developers and planners should ensure that essence of equity in the usage of land was maintained, he said. Addressing the gathering, Fali S Nariman, president of Bar Association of India and senior Supreme Court advocate, said that people, who don't take pride in nation, can't take pride in their cities.