Monday February 19, 2018
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SC discharging constitutional obligation, not tyranny of unelected: Justice Ganguly

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New Delhi: Even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought to brand the Supreme Court judgment striking down the National Judicial Appointments Commission Act and the enabling 99th constitution amendment as “tyranny of the unelected”, former apex court judge Asok Kumar Ganguly said that what it did was its “duty”, which it is mandated to discharge under the constitution.

“Well I don’t agree with the minister. Under constitutional provisions, it is always within the province of the judiciary to examine the validity of an act or even the validity of a constitutional amendment. This power of judicial review has been expressly granted to the judiciary by the constitution. This is clear from article 79”, Justice Ganguly told IANS on the phone from Kolkata, where he has settled down after his retirement.

While Justice Ganguly disapproved of Jaitley’s choice of words, former Supreme Court judge Justice B. Sudershan Reddy refused to join the issue and Justice A.K. Patnaik tried to make light of it, saying it was normal for a parliamentarian faced with an adverse verdict to criticise the court.

Describing parliament a “feature of the constitution”, Justice Ganguly said: “There is no question of challenging the supremacy of the constitution and there is no tyranny of the unelected”.

Justice Ganguly, who, along with Justice G.S. Singhvi, was part of the bench that had on February 2, 2012, cancelled 122 2G licences on the ground of being allocated in an “arbitrary” manner, said: “Parliament is a feature of the constitution, it does not interpret the constitution and it is given to the judiciary to interpret the Constitution. Therefore if the judiciary finds any law is unconstitutional, it is its duty to say so.”

“This constitutional dispensation must be accepted by all, especially by a minister who assumes office by taking an oath to uphold and preserve the constitution. The judges of the Supreme Court, by their judgment, have just upheld the the constitution and law.”

A five-judge constitution bench of the the Supreme Court Oct 16 struck down the 99th amendment and the NJAC Act as unconstitutional and void, restoring the collegium system for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary. The court also sought suggestions from the bar for the improved functioning of the collegium system. The hearing on the same will take place on November 3.

Holding that “parliament is sovereign but is subject to the constitution”, Justice Ganguly said: “The sovereignty of parliament is not questioned by the judges but the laws made by it have to be tested on the touchstone of the constitution. Therefore, when a court declares a law invalid, it does not impinge on the sovereignty of parliament. It merely does its duty to uphold the constitution in exercise of its power of judicial review.”

Not taking a serious view of the views expressed by Jaitley, Justice A.K. Patnaik, who had, in his July 10, 2013, verdict said that a lawmaker upon his conviction would be unseated, noted that Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act provided for this.

“It is matter of debate. You can’t call it contemptuous. He represents the parliamentarians. That is the view of the member of parliament. He has the right to tell (whatever he feels). The Supreme Court has delivered its judgment,” Justice Patnaik said.

In an obvious pointer that lawmakers do say such things when faced with an adverse court verdict, Justice Patnaik referred to an instance cited by eminent jurist Fali Nariman during the course of a hearing.

Nariman had told the court that in one country, a new parliament building was being planned and a committee was set up to invite suggestions. One of the suggestions was that it should be ensured that the parliament building should be bigger than the country’s Supreme Court building.

Refusing to join issue with Jaitley, Justice B. Sudershan Reddy, who along with Justice S.S. Nijjar had authored the judgment on bringing back black money, declined to join issue with Jaitley, holding: “I will not say anything. I will not join issue with him.”

At the same time, Justice Reddy was not on the same page with the constitution bench striking down the NJAC.

“I think the dissenting judgment is correct constitutional view. The discourse adopted by the majority judges is illogical and based on principles unknown to constitutional jurisprudence,” Justice Reddy contended.

(Pramod Kumar, IANS)

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Most Famous Railway Stations Of India

Indian railways stations are not only railways stations but are also one of the apexes of India pre and post-colonial history

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India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons
India has many railways stations famous for various reasons. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Indian Railways is one of the biggest railways network in the world
  • India has railways stations which are famous for various reasons
  • Indian railways stations are famous for various reasons from being beautiful to haunted

India has one of the biggest railways departments in the world. And also, one of the largest numbers of railway stations as well. Indian railways stations are not only railways stations but are also one of the apexes of India pre and post-colonial history.

Railways is of great importance for India because of its economic as well as historic significance. Wikimedia Commons
Railways is of great importance for India because of its economic as well as historic significance. Wikimedia Commons

Railways have a huge behind the increasing Indian economy, the revenue generated is huge. Railways were introduced by Britishers in India and since then it has become of the biggest assets of India. They are not only a mode of transportation but also have a huge historical background.

Here is the list of some of the most famous Indian Railway Station.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) or the Victoria Terminus (VT) as it popularly known is in Mumbai. It is one of the largest railways stations in India. It is also one of the most famous and has found a place in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites because of its magnificent gothic architecture. The station was built in 1887 to celebrate the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the oldest and largest railways stations in India. Wikimedia Commons
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is one of the oldest and largest railways stations in India. Wikimedia Commons

Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station

It is one of the most beautiful railway stations in India. It has 9 platforms and other 4 which are under construction. The Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station has a magnificent architectural masterpiece. It was built in 20th century by the British and looks more like a monument than a railway station. It is one of the two major railways stations in Lucknow and is well-connected to the whole country.

Also Read: Indian Railways to use artificial intelligence

Howrah Junction 

Howrah Junction in Kolkata is the oldest railway station in India. It is also one of the largest railway stations in India with 23 platforms. Howrah Junction can handle more trains than any other Indian railway station. Despite being renovated several times, it still holds the magnificence of the British and Bengali architecture.

Howrah Junction is the oldest railway station in India. Wikimedia Commons
Howrah Junction is the oldest railway station in India. Wikimedia Commons

Cuttack Railway Station
Cuttack is a city in Odisha. The Cuttack Railway Station in Odisha is one of the most beautiful and cleanest Indian railway stations. This railway station is famous for its architecture which is said to be inspired by the Barabati Fort, which is located in the Kalinga region of Odisha.

Vijayawada Junction Railway Station

Vijayawada Junction is one of the largest railway stations in India and is situated in Andhra Pradesh. It was constructed in 1888 and is famous for its architecture. It is also one of the busiest railway stations in India. It is also famous for its white structure.

Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons
Vijayawada Railway Station was constructed in 1888. Wikimedia Commons

Begunkodor Railway Station

Begunkodor Railway Station is in West Bengal. This station us famous because it is said to be haunted. Due to this, the station has been abandoned for 42 years. The station is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman draped in a white sarees.

Also Read: Facts about Indian Railways you can’t miss

New Delhi Railway Station

New Delhi Railway Station is one of the largest railway stations in New Delhi and India. It is also the main railway station of Delhi. The railway station situated between the areas of Ajmeri Gate and Paharganj and sees the one of the largest crowd of commuters.

New Delhi Railway Station is famous for being the largest metro station in the capital, New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons
New Delhi Railway Station is famous for being the largest metro station in the capital, New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons

Barog Railway Station

Barog in Himachal Pradesh is a little railway station which is famous for its elaborate history. The railway station is surrounded by beautiful mountains. It is also famous for the ghost of its engineer which is said to be haunting the railway station. The station is also famous because of various folklores surrounding it.