‘We cannot create the law. It a Lakshman Rekha that can’t be crossed’ says SC

The Supreme Court has said that it cannot create a law, it’s a ‘lakshman rekha‘ that cannot be crossed. The observation came when senior advocate Dinesh Dwivedi, appearing for NGO Public Interest Foundation, said that 34% lawmakers had criminal background and it was quite “impossible” that Parliament will make any law to stop criminalisation of politics.

The apex court reminded the lawyers of its ‘lakshman rekha’ when they fervently pleaded it to intervene to stop criminalisation of politics on the grounds that the legislature was not doing enough.

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It however conceded that people with criminal antecedents becoming members of Parliament and state assemblies is a problem and the legislature should not ignore it.

“It is the duty of the legislature to respond to the collective cry of the citizens. Today, the citizens are saying please don’t let such people contest elections…It can’t be ignored by the legislature. It’s a national thinking,” said a five judge bench headed by chief justice of India Dipak Misra.

The Constitution bench on Thursday commenced hearing on PILs seeking barring of persons facing serious criminal charges from electoral politics, referred to the concept of separation of powers among the three wings of the state – executive, legislature and the judiciary.

“Corruption is a noun but becomes a verb when it enters the political arena. It is infective and resistant to antibiotics,” Justice Misra commented.

It is this court which can make the law as there was a void and the legislature was refusing to fill that up, he said.

“Let me correct myself, it is the ‘lakshman rekha’ to the extent that we declare the law and don’t make the law. We cannot create the law,” Justice R F Nariman, one of the judges of the bench, said.

The bench said that it can devise means to fast track the judicial proceedings in criminal cases involving lawmakers, but it would be difficult to direct Parliament and the poll panel to certain things which fell under the domain of the legislature.

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