Chennai: Judicial activism cannot encroach on other limbs of democracy, the Madras High Court on Friday observed during the hearing of a petition seeking to restrain the Centre from forwarding to the President a list of nine names recommended by the high court collegium for appointment as judges.
"It (judicial activism) is itself counter-productive to the doctrine of separation of powers among the executive, legislature and the judiciary," said Justice V Ramasubramanian sitting on a bench also comprising Justice PR Shivakumar.
The petition wanted the Centre to be restrained from sending the list to the President till the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act was notified. Petitioner S. Kasiramalingam, an advocate, submitted that the President had already given his assent to the bill passed by Parliament, making necessary amendments to the Constitution in connection with the selection and appointment of Judges.
With the Presidential assent to the bill, the Centre had lost its constitutional power in the matter and cannot forward the names to the President, he contended.
The Supreme Court also cannot usurp the power of Parliament as the Constitution separated powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary, he submitted. Justice Ramasubramanian said "through judicial activism, the Collegium system was introduced now you want to undo that through judicial activism."
Referring to a Supreme Court case in an identical situation, the Judge said the court could not issue writ of mandamus.
However, at the request of the petitioner, the bench adjourned the matter. This is the second petition pertaining to the list sent by the collegium. The other petition wanted the list to be recalled and redone on grounds including "arbitrariness" in the process of selection. The high court now has 42 judges against its sanctioned strength of 60.