SC verdicts & turmoil in Pakistan!

   By Vijay Darda | 08-05-2023

Apex court rulings have put an end to confusion in Maharashtra, provided relief to Delhi govt

Vijay Darda

I usually express my point of view on a specific topic and analyse it in this column. However, the Supreme Court last week pronounced two significant judgments that may have far-reaching effects. Moreover, the fight between former prime minister Imran Khan and the army in neighbouring Pakistan has reached a historic turning point. I believe it is critical to thoroughly analyse these three developments this week.

First and foremost, the Supreme Court’s ruling over the political situation in Maharashtra! The Shiv Sena split in June last year. Uddhav Thackeray’s close aide Eknath Shinde and his supporters joined hands with the BJP. Following this, the then governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had directed Uddhav to prove majority on the floor of the House. Even before the floor test, Uddhav resigned. Accordingly, Eknath Shinde became chief minister with the support of BJP. Uddhav moved the Supreme Court as soon as Shinde became chief minister. There has been uncertainty over the fate of the government ever since. The government’s stability was in jeopardy too. And when the government is unstable, it affects the functioning of the entire administrative machinery. The officials are not sure how long the government will last and how the new government will be. In such a situation, the officials do not work proactively, harming the interest of the state.

You are aware of what the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice M R Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice P S Narasimha have said in their judgment. A serious question has been raised over the functioning of the governor. The top court has unequivocally ruled that neither the Constitution nor the law permits the governor to enter the political arena and intervene in inter-party disputes. I’ve always maintained that the governor should stay out of politics. The office of the governor is not affiliated to any political party. Yet, it is unfortunate for Indian politics that most governors are unable to rise above party politics. Now that the uncertainty over the fate of the government no longer exists, it is hoped that the state will continue on its path of progress at a steady pace.


Delhi tussle

The Supreme Court pronounced its second important ruling over the ongoing tug of war between the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor over their rights. The Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Justice D Y Chandrachud ruled that with the exception of public order, police and land, all other services will be dealt with by the Delhi government. The Bench made it clear that the civil servants must function under the control of the elected government. The Centre-ruled Delhi enjoys a unique status. In the light of this ruling, the officers from various departments would no longer report to the LG, but to the minister incharge of the departments concerned in the Delhi government. The Delhi government will now be able to transfer the officers, and the confidential report of their performance, known as the CR, would be written by the Delhi government as well. However, the LG will have the authority to conduct CR reviews of IAS officers of the special cadre! It remains to be seen how much acrimony this will generate. But this ruling is expected to put an end to LG’s meddling in government functioning. This is exactly what should happen. However, I believe it would be preferable if the Delhi government also got the authority over land and the police force. How can any government maintain law and order without the police?


Turmoil in Pakistan

The third topic of our discussion is the neighbouring country of Pakistan. The court played an important role in this matter too. You are aware that Imran Khan, who has proved his dominance on the cricket field, was detained and released after court’s intervention following a massive uproar and violence by his supporters. However, the point to be emphasised here is that this is the first time in Pakistan’s history that the protestors targeted military installations. They not only stormed the army headquarters in Rawalpindi but also stoned other military installations.

Consider how fed up the average Pakistani feels with the army that he picked up stones. People clearly understand that the army is disturbed by Imran Khan’s growing stature and aggressive attitude. It intends to destroy Imran Khan at any cost hiding behind the puppet government there. The pauperised people begging for foodgrain are strongly behind Imran. The court has temporarily released Imran. But the million dollar question now is whether the strong-willed Imran truly has the strength to take on the Pakistan army, or he too, would be eliminated like the other politicians for defying the army. It is difficult to say anything about it right now but we must continue to pray for Imran’s success. This will serve India’s interest too!

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