Questioning political parties’ lack of accountability, Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar on Saturday said electoral promises routinely remain unfulfilled and political parties must be held accountable for them. In a speech on Saturday, Khehar said political parties’ manifesto has remained just on paper. “Political parties’ manifestos do not indicate any link between economic reforms and Constitutional goal of economic and social justice.”
Speaking in presence of President Pranab Mukherjee, CJI said political parties give “brazen” excuses like lack of consensus amongst their members to justify non-fulfilment of their poll promises. However, the Election Commission has also been taking action against parties for violating the model code of conduct, as per apex court’s directive, he added.
Talking about constitutional values, Khehar said political parties should focus on the way to operate the economic system for the good governance of the mass through constitutional means. Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee in his speech talked about the accountability of the elected representatives by saying that all the political parties will have to develop a voluntary code of conduct for their working.
He also mentioned that apart from the 1957 and 1984 general elections, no political party secured more than 50 percentage of votes in any parliamentary election which raised serious question on their accountability. Regarding the call of a healthy debate in Parliament, President Mukherjee reminded that Parliament was not just a deliberating body but also a decision making body.
Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar was sworn in as the CJI on January 4 earlier this year, succeeding Justice Tirath Singh Thakur. Khehar became the 44th CJI and the first Sikh to hold the apex court office. He would have a tenure of little over seven months. Khehar was the author of the judgment by a five-judge constitution bench that held “unconstitutional” the Constitution’s 99th amendment paving way for the National Judicial Appointment Commission and the National Judicial Appointment Commission Act, 2014.