As Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said everybody, including the judiciary, must recognise and respect a certain boundary that ought not be crossed, Supreme Court Judge, Justice J.S. Khehar, on Saturday said judiciary had observed the 'Lakshaman rekha' by upholding the Constitution's ethos.
Elsewhere, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Indian courts can quash and set aside orders but governance must remain with those elected to govern.
The remarks came on a day Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur expressed concern over non-filling of vacancies in various courts, saying around 500 posts of High Court judges were lying vacant. Prasad, however, said 120 appointments have been made this year, the second highest after 2013.
Justice Thakur's remarks came during the All India Conference of Central Administrative Tribunal here.
Speaking at a Supreme Court function to celebrate 'Constitution Day' in the evening, Rohatagi said: "All, including judiciary, must recognise there is 'Lakshman rekha' and be ready for introspection. Self-restraint is important."
Justice Khehar, who is in the next line to become the Chief Justice of India (CJI), responded: "Judiciary has maintained the Lakshaman rekha by upholding the Constitution's ethos. The judiciary is truly the only defensive aromour in the country."
"Liberty, equality and dignity of the citizens have subsisted and flourished well in India due to the proactive role played by the Indian judiciary."
Justice Khehar said the rule of law prevails due to backing from an independent law which has been courageous in promoting the cause of the underprivileged, disadvantaged and the depressed, cause of such sections of society as are uninformed or are unable to secure their rights due to countless barriers.
"By seeking judicial intervention even in situations where one or the other high constitutional functionary have not been appointed appropriately or have acted wrongfully, a progressive civil society and pulsating media has been contributing significantly to keep the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution on track," Justice Khehar said.
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