THE SUPREME Court on Friday said it is not running the country nor does it intend to. Taking up a PIL for hearing, a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha made it clear that the apex court would not intervene in issues which were meant to be decided by the executive.
“Are we running the country? No…we are not and nor do we intend to,” observed the bench, as soon as the lawyer for the petitioner began his argument.
Advocate Abhishek Nanda, who was arguing for the petition filed by Haryana-based social activist Jeetendra Nath, urged the bench to issue directions to the central government and the state governments of Himachal Pradesh and Haryana for construction of the SYL (Satluj-Yamuna Link) canal directly from Himachal Pradesh to Haryana, instead of constructing it through Punjab.
The petition pointed out that the project was caught in a tussle between Haryana and Punjab, due to the latter’s resistance. According to Nath, this stalemate resulted in breach of fundamental rights under Article 14 (equality before law). “Such arbitrary and unreasonable actions of the Government of Punjab are violative of fundamental rights of the people of Haryana as enumerated under Article 14, 19, and 21 of the Constitution of India. Further, such whimsical and irrational actions of the Government of Punjab have resulted in depriving the people of Haryana due share of water as guaranteed and enshrined under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India,” said the plea.
Nath contended that in view of the larger public interest, the project should be constructed directly from Himachal Pradesh to Haryana, instead of passing through Punjab.
But when Nanda rose to argue the case, the judges were convinced that the matter did not fall within the purview of judicial adjudication.
Observing that the apex court does not run the country, the bench dismissed the PIL. It recorded in its order that the petition sought to raise issues which were not within its jurisdiction.