On 26 November, 1949, the Constitution of India was adopted by the constituent assembly, therefore the day was a historic one. However, after a long span of time, in 1979, the Supreme Court Bar Association declared November 26 as Law Day which the government has now designated as Constitution Day and it is observed to emphasize the rule of law, to revive the state of law and administration of justice and to suggest ways and means to improve the judicial system in the country. It is a long time complaint on the part of executive that more often than not, judiciary is overstepping its domain. The reason is clear. People at large are free to approach the court with their Public Interest Litigations. When any citizen feels that justice was not done to him or her or they were adversely affected by any action of the government, they are free to resort to this legal favour to them. In such cases, when the complaint is justified, the court will have to come forward and point towards the lapses and drawbacks of the government. This should not be seen as an overreach by the judiciary. While this is one aspect when the judges are justified, but of course in rare cases, courts may have crossed the Lakshman Rekha, that denotes the realm of power among the three wings, the legislature, the executive and judiciary. This is a very complex issue and should be settled through understanding among these three pillars of our democracy.
This push and pull between the judiciary and executive was on public display on the Constitution Day observed this year. Indirectly referring to the rejection by the Supreme Court of the government proposal of setting up of the National Judicial Appointment Commission, the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad suggested that the judiciary did not believe in the executive headed by the Prime Minister. Speaking on the occasion, he said the people of India have reposed faith in the Prime Minister but judiciary was hesitant. The Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra responded to the minister by pointedly saying that the judiciary reposed as much trust in a popularly elected PM as the public did. He elaborated on the subject and said the rule of law is supreme and added that various provisions of the Constitution have made room for the independent functioning of legislature, executive and judiciary. It is a fact that executive many a time is under pressure because the public representatives in the government have to oblige their vote bank while there is little pressure on the judiciary. The political leaders have to give more regard to the rule of law than their public pulls and pressures. In recent times the intervention of courts has been on the rise and it is due more to malfunction of the executive than on account of any other reason. A system to filter the public interest litigation is also a must. The watertight separation of the three branches of the state is a complex issue and it can be tackled by sane understanding rather than any legal provisions.