Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Is this the worst of kritarchy?

If you thought that only politicians indulged in farm loan waivers, wait. The Hindu reports,
The Madras High Court... while allowing a petition by the National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturists' Association... directed the Tamil Nadu government to waive loans of all drought-hit farmers and restrained cooperative societies and banks from recovering their dues. It noted that the state’s financial situation was grim and it was single handedly shouldering the debt burden in a drought year in which farmers were committing suicide and suggested that the Centre come forward to extend financial help to Tamil Nadu during this difficult situation... It directed the cooperation, food and consumer protection department and registrar of cooperative societies to extend the crop loan waiver scheme under two Government Orders of 2016, to all farmers, including those whose landholding was more than five acres.
I just can't see even one reason for a judicial intervention on this. It clearly is an exercise of a political judgement by a judicial institution. Such judgements seriously call into question the competence and intentions of those administering them. 

It puts both the state and central governments in a great fix. Neither can the state government appeal against the order nor can the central government refuse at least some assistance without risking being dubbed anti-farmer. 

And unlike farm waivers which are now baked into electoral cycles, the Court has set a precedent by wading into loan waivers during droughts. Even if the Supreme Court overturns this, the damage has been done. The Chief Justice of India needs to save the country's judicial system from his own irresponsible and trigger happy brethren!


It gets even worse! A friend sends me links to the campaign launched by the Madurai Bench of the High Court to remove prosopis juliflora from all public and private lands in the state. Principal District Judges were directed to inspect the lands and report the progress of removal to the Court. 

It was apparently for the public good. These trees absorb all the moisture in the atmosphere and prevents rains. It also causes several other harmful things. The Court even started a parallel executive administration of advocate commissioners to implement the order, directed the legislature to pass law,  and finally has set up an independent treasury to fund the project.

1 comment:

Tirumala Venkatesh Kaggundi said...

And does it stop? You now can't run a bar anywhere near the highway within a distance decided by the Hon'ble topmost Court. It is indeed heady to wield such power, but unfortunate for judiciary to do so, as then it encroaches on the powers of executive and legislature destroying the healthy balance needed to run a complex democracy. Inefficiency on the part of executive or legislature is no reason for Judiciary to mantle their role.