Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, expressing his views on the recent Supreme Court’s Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a constitutional amendment that sought to give the executive a say in the selection of top judges, has said that Indian democracy could not be a “tyranny of the unelected”. He said demiocracy would be in danger if the elected are undermined.
The BJP leader, expressing his views on the verdict in a Facebook post titled ‘The NJAC Judgement — An Alternative View?’, said: “The judgment has upheld the primacy of one basic structure — independence of judiciary — but diminished five other basic structures of the Constitution, namely, parliamentary democracy, an elected government, the council of ministers, an elected Prime Minister and the elected leader of the opposition.”
“A constitutional court, while interpreting the Constitution, had to base the judgment on constitutional principles. There is no constitutional principle that democracy and its institutions has to be saved from elected representatives… The Indian democracy cannot be a tyranny of the unelected and if the elected are undermined, democracy itself would be in danger,” the Finance Minsiter said.
He also said it was Supreme Court that caved in and, therefore, for the court to assume that it alone can defend the nation against Emergency, is belied by history. “As for the cause of those representing alternative sexuality, the Delhi High Court had decriminalised it. I am a part of the present government, but I had publically supported the opinion of the Delhi High Court. It was the Supreme Court which recriminalised alternative sexuality. The assumption that the cause of the practitioners of alternative sexuality to be appointed as judges, can only be protected by Supreme Court, is again belied by history. The Supreme Court opinion is final. It is not infallible,” he said.
Reacting to the post, Congress slams Arun Jaitley for the Facebook post on the judgement. Randeep Surjewala, head of Congress communication department, said that Jaitley must not forget that imperiousness of numbers often converts elected governments into unabashed autocrats with unchecked immunity from reason, justice or conscience. He added that the “acrimonious attack on Supreme Court by Finance Minister is a travesty of constitutional sovereignty”.