Amid the course of the hearing of the case relating to the three Farm laws, the apex court allegedly observed that it may remain execution of the farm laws and the court on Tuesday did pass the order staying the implementation of three farm laws.
This is being taken as a landmark day in the development of Jurisprudence of Constitutional law by some of the learned members of legal fraternity as the Hon’ble Supreme Court does not generally stay the implementation of the act which has been enacted within the legislative competence of Parliament. It is assumed that if the bill has been passed through the procedure established by law, it is constitutional until the Hon’ble court pronounces otherwise.
However, the court on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three farm laws without going into the constitutionality or prima facie unconstitutionality of the farm laws. The immediate question that arises in one’s mind is whether it is a valid order? It is respectfully submitted that it is not and resembles a case of judicial overreach.
The Supreme Court in Divisional Manager, Aravali Golf Course v. Chander Haas, 2007 stated “Before parting with this case we would like to make some observations about the limits of the powers of the judiciary. We are compelled to make these observations because we are repeatedly coming across cases where Judges are unjustifiably trying to perform executive or legislative functions. In our opinion, this is clearly unconstitutional. In the name of judicial activism, Judges cannot cross their limits and try to take over functions which belong to another organ of the State.”
In our protected system, of which separation of power is a necessary portion, it is basic that all organs of the state work inside their space. There may be some occasions of interruptions, but again, that’s inescapable when the “spaces” are covering and the undetectable “line of control” is exceptionally obscured. Without a doubt, our Constitution has not perceived the tenet of the separation of powers in its outright inflexibility. However, the Supreme Court has upheld it to be one of the Basic Structure of the constitution and has cautioned, in not one but many of its verdicts, to exercise restraint.
It follows that when a law is made by Parliament, it is only the Parliament which can annul or suspend its operation by making another law. The Court can no doubt announce a law ultra vires in case it finds it unconstitutional, but it has no power to temporarily stay its enforcement even without recording a finding that it is prima facie unconstitutional. The apex court has not recorded any such finding in its order.
In Bhavesh D. Parish & Ors. vs. UOI & Anr, the Court observed “When considering an application for staying the operation of a piece of legislation, and that too pertaining to economic reform or change, then the courts must bear in mind that unless the provision is manifestly unjust or glaringly unconstitutional, the courts must show judicial restrain in staying the applicability of the same. Merely because a statute comes up for examination and some arguable point is raised, which persuades the courts to consider the controversy, the legislative will should not normally be put under suspension pending such consideration.
It is now well- settled that there is always a presumption in favour of the constitutional validity of any legislation, unless the same is set- aside after final hearing and, therefore, the tendency to grant a stay of legislation relating to economic reform, at the interim stage, cannot be understood. The system of checks and balances has to be utilised in a balanced manner with the primary objective of accelerating economic growth rather than suspending its growth by doubting its constitutional efficacy at the threshold itself.”
Whenever a law is passed by the parliament following its Procedure, it comes into operation immediately after the presidential assent (unless it may be a case of conditional enactment, which the three laws in the address are not) For a Court to stay its operation, would sum to foiling the will of another organ of the State, which is sovereign inside its claim space, and would sum to judicial enactment. This would be abusing the rule of separation of powers propounded by Montesquieu, and taken after within the abovementioned decisions.
Maybe, what the court needed is to break the halt between the farmers and the government. But doubtlessly, it cannot do so by abusing the constitution.
Courts must perceive out they cannot unravel all issues within the nation, and I consciously yield that Supreme Court should have only decided the constitutionality of the three laws and should have abstained from passing any order trespassing into the space of another organ of the state.