Flagging concerns over judicial overreach yet again finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday made it clear that the judiciary must draw its own “Lakshman rekha” and not take decisions, which fall in the domain of the executive.
He also underlined that activism has to be blended with restraint and there cannot be a compromise with other aspects of the basic structure in the name of independence of the judiciary.
“Judicial review is legitimate domain of judiciary but then the Lakshman rekha has to be drawn by all the institutions themselves. Lakshman rekha is very vital,” the finance minister said, asserting that “the executive decisions are to be taken by the executive and not the judiciary”.
Replying to questions during an interaction at Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC), Jaitley reasoned that there are different kinds of recourse and “layers of accountability” available when the executive takes decisions.
He said people have the options of seeking changes in the decision taken by the executive besides voting out the government.
The courts can also strike down a decision taken by the executive if it is found to be unconstitutional but all these options are not available when the court ends up taking executive decisions, Jaitley argued.
“Courts cannot substitute the executive and say I will exercise the executive power. If you do so the three options will not be available, which are there when the executive takes executive decisions,” the finance minister said. He was asked questions about his earlier remarks that the judiciary had been encroaching on legislative and executive authority.