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Justice Ruma Pal and Open Magazine on difference between Courts and Tribunals

Written By Unknown on Sunday, May 19, 2013 | 6:34 AM

Delivering the fifth V.M. Tarkunde memorial lecture, former Supreme Court judge Ruma Pal described the increasing tribunalisation (the executive decision to set up specialised tribunals) as a serious encroachment on the judiciary’s independence. The judiciary, she said, had been “timorous” in not fighting these tribunals that force it to share its adjudicating powers with the executive.

After having succeeded in softening Parliamentary function by giving post retirement contracts to former IAS officers who have been made Secretary Generals of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha by sidelining officials of the Parliament, judicial function is facing consistent mutilation through tribunalisation. Sadly, both the bar and the bench appears structurally complicit in it.  

Government is asking us to believe that what 24 High Courts and over 600 District Courts and thousands of magistrates in remote parts of the country could not do, Tribunals like NGT with its five benches can do it. Only the gullible, the beneficiary and the vested interests will believe it. Likes of Justice Ruma Pal and Madhya Pradesh Bar Association have rightly challenged such myth making. Collusion, complicity, connivance and incestous institutions manifest themselves in myriad ways.
The OPEN magazine article below by Prashant Reddy underlines that the 17th Law Commission took care to use the term ‘courts’ and not ‘tribunals’ in the context of the Indian Constitution. His four and half page analysis of the ongoing tribunalisation enriches the debate on the constitutionality of Tribunals.
This piece deserves considered responses. Given the fact that at least two PILs are pending in Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the NGT.

OPEN magazine deserves appreciation for continuing with its expose from Radia Tapes to Tribunal saga. 

How NGT is disrupting ongoing legal process is illustrated by a text here:

Gopal Krishna
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
New Delhi
E-mail: gopalkrishna1715@gmail.com
Web: www.toxicswatch.org

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