Today News Online Service
New Delhi, February 12
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday appealed to courts to examine which public interest litigations to admit and said a competition was under way in the country to file PILs.
“There is a competition going on to file PILs in the Supreme Court and the High Courts. I appeal to the judiciary to please be a little more objective while admitting PILs and take a view of the circumstances under which a PIL can be filed,” said Prasad, replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha before the passage of the Bill replacing The Arbitration Council Amendment Ordinance 2020 which seeks to make India a hub of arbitration besides welcoming arbitrators of any nationality.
The Law Minister said he had personally argued several landmark cases and PILs that led to “tectonic shifts.”
“I was the lawyer in the fodder scam, the bitumen scam; I was the lawyer for Ram Lalla and for LK Advani. Tectonic shifts took place when such matters were argued. But these days, PILs are filed on the basis of news headlines. I appeal to courts that genuine PILs on workers’ rights, environmental issues must be accepted but to look at the load the PILs are adding to litigation,” Prasad said.
He also used the occasion to say that “the separation of powers is as much a basic structure of the Constitution as the independence of the judiciary.”
“Governance should be left to those elected to govern and accountable to the Parliament and law making should be left to legislators,” the Law Minister said.
Earlier, speaking on the Bill on arbitration, Prasad said India will not tolerate award of contracts motivated by corruption and noted that the Bill on arbitration provides an architecture for creation of a world class arbitration structure.
“If we have a credible arbitration architecture, the world will come to us. We intend to make India a hub of arbitration and this Bill gives the Arbitration Council of India full autonomy to select arbitrators, notwithstanding their nationality,” the minister said.