IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 23rd Jan

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2021.

EDITORIAL HUNT #322 :“Legislature versus Judiciary : Farm Bills | UPSC

Legislature versus Judiciary : Farm Bills | UPSC

Legislature versus Judiciary : Farm Bills | UPSC

Anuj Bhuwania and Arun Thiruvengadam

Legislature versus Judiciary : Farm Bills | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Are courts encroaching on the powers of the executive?

      CENTRAL THEME:

The courts are increasingly intervening in matters without providing sound legal reasoning

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Judiciary

      MAINS QUESTION:

The apex court of India has stayed the implementation of Farm Laws. Is there a case for the Supreme Court, or for the High Courts for that matter, to be more proactive in matters of governance? Comment -(GS 3)

      LEARNING: 

  • What is the recent order ?
  • The intent of Court to resolve the Farmer’s issues
  • Judicial Review
  • Way Forward

      INTRODUCTION: 

THE ORDER : On January 12, 2021, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of three controversial farm laws passed in September 2020.

FORMULATION OF COMMITTEE : The apex court ordered the constitution of a committee of experts to negotiate between the farmers’ bodies and the Government of India.

      BODY: 

THE INTENT

A LEGISLATIVE TILT : Rather than deliberating on the constitutionality of the three laws, the court appears to be trying to move some of the parties towards a political settlement.

THE INTENT OF COURT : In the present instance of the court staying the farm laws and forming a committee is to break the deadlock between the farmers and the government.

JUDICIAL CHECK : As the court itself noted in its January 12 order, there are three sets of petitions: one is challenging the constitutionality of the laws and the others are with regard to the protests.

CHANCES OF NEGOTIATION : None of them ask the court to negotiate between the two parties.

The court has said in its oral comments that it views the protests as completely legal and part of the exercise of citizens’ rights under Article 19 of the Constitution.

SECURITY ASPECTS : Court also said that the police alone can take a call on the security aspect.The court is not even framing these cases before it in legal terms.

BACKGROUND

MARATHA RESERVATION CASE : The court gave the precedent of the Maratha reservation case in which it had issued a stay, but in that instance, the stay was given on constitutional grounds.

ROOTS OF CONTROVERSY : The issues are of federalism, of agriculture being a State subject, as well as the manner in which the voice vote was passed in the Rajya Sabha, which was controversial.

CLEAR LEGAL BASE : The court cites “assuaging hurt feelings” of a section of people who are protesting against the laws as a reason to stay a parliamentary law, the order does not seem to have a clear legal basis.

JUSTIFY LEGAL MANDATES : Courts are, of course, competent to issue stay orders on parliamentary laws, but they need to set out legal reasons.

JUDICIAL REVIEW

JUDICIAL OVERREACH : This question of judicial overreach is a phenomenon that has been observed in multiple contexts in various countries.

THE POWER TO REVIEW : The idea that judges can exercise review powers to overturn laws enacted by democratically elected governments and Parliaments is of fairly recent origin.

POPULARITY OF JUDICIAL REVIEW : It is only in the post-World War II era that this idea has become dominant around the world. This has also led to changes in thinking about the role of courts.

EXAMPLE
In South Africa, there is an interesting provision in their Constitution that enables courts to enter into a dialogue with legislators to prevent a situation of a legal vacuum.

AVOIDING MISCOMMUNICATION : So, the court can point out that a law that Parliament has passed is inconsistent with the Constitution to a particular extent, and can allow Parliament time to fix the identified problem.

      IASbhai Windup: 

MISSING ELEMENTS : What we’re seeing recently is the court is very reluctant to take up constitutional challenges to similarly politically controversial moves.

CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACIES : The classic justification for taking up these cases is to uphold the interests of a group which cannot prevail in a majoritarian system of elections, which are important but not the only concern of constitutional democracies.

CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES : The constitutional challenge to the farm bills involves far more people and far more serious questions than only the farmers who have gathered at the borders of Delhi.

SUGGESTED READING :  COURTS POWER ON LAWS MADE BY PARLIAMENT

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | Legislature versus Judiciary : Farm Bills | UPSC

 

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