Weekly Current Affairs

SC ruling on Lodha panel unconstitutional, says Katju [Judiciary]

  • The former Supreme Court judge, Justice Markandey Katju, has lashed out at the Supreme Court and its committee led by the former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha, saying their intention to clean up cricket may be good, but it cannot be done by “throwing the law to the winds.”
  • Justice Katju who was appointed by the BCCI to head a four-member panel to “advise and guide” it on the July 18 Supreme Court verdict, asking the BCCI to implement the Lodha Committee’s recommendations in six months to overhaul the cricket body to usher in accountability, declared that the judgment itself was unconstitutional.
  • If the parent [the judgment] is illegal, the Justice Lodha Committee’s recommendations also goes.
  • The judgment has not only violated the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act but also the Constitution.
  • The BCCI made the panel headed by Justice Katju the “single point interface” to interact with the Lodha Committee.
  • The Supreme Court had over-reached itself and indulged in judicial legislation unmindful of fact that there are several larger Bench decisions prohibiting same.
  • SC could have forwarded Lodha Committee’s recommendations to Parliament with their own recommendation that they be enacted as a law by Parliament, but to direct itself that the recommendations be implemented is clearly a legislative act not within the court’s domain.
  • He also pointed out that the Lodha Committee was only mandated to examine and make suitable recommendations to the BCCI for such reforms in its practices and procedures and such amendments to the memorandum of association, rules and regulations as may be considered necessary.
  • The Supreme Court not only usurped the powers of the Registrar of Societies, but also outsourced the power of punishment to a committee of retired judges.
  • In the past cases, the Supreme Court itself had stood up for the Principle of Separation of Powers when High Courts had gone overboard and ignored the prevalent statutes.
  • Under the Motor Vehicles Act, the Regional Transport Authority is the competent authority to give licences. The Supreme Court had held that no other body can usurp its powers provided under a statute. Likewise, a District Collector grants licences to cinemas, no other body can assign to itself that function.