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Court and conventions: Letter to BS on rift between Supreme Court judges

The loss of the moral authority of a titular head of state is its death knell as a functional arm of the state

Business Standard 

With reference to “Court in crisis” (January 15), it was probably idealistic and tragically romantic to expect the top constitutional level to be able to shield itself from the present-day evils coming from consumerism, exchange of favours and socioeconomic fissures. That the discomfited judges did not approach the President for remedy or mediation is a sign of the loss of credibility of — or at least the lack of confidence the citizens have on the impartial, quick and fair exercise of power by — important constitutional and legally empowered authorities. The loss of the moral authority of a titular head of state is its death knell as a functional arm of the state. If the exercise of power, discretion and judgement is always looked at with suspicion from the angle of political expediency or commercial quid pro quo, democracy might exist on paper but the rule of law will be severely diminished. Conventions and traditions need to be preserved. And in some situations, people in high places have to put aside personal preferences and interests while making a choice. If the process is not perceived to be fair, increasingly citizens will seek remedy through a mix of extra-legal and criminal courses, as is seen in the rise of community- and religion-based actions.

P Datta, Kolkata


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First Published: Mon, January 15 2018. 23:36 IST
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