Ignoring the courts

The recent instances of political parties or governments flouting court orders are not a welcome development


Nitish Kumar has responded to the decision by the Patna high court to strike down the prohibition law in Bihar by introducing an even more stringent law to keep the state dry. Karnataka has been dragging its feet on releasing water from the Cauvery to downstream Tamil Nadu, despite being told to do so by the Supreme Court. The apex court has warned the state government not to invite the wrath of the law. And political parties in Maharashtra openly flouted the instructions of the courts to keep the height of the human pyramids on Krishna Janmashtami under 20 feet.

The courts have been criticized for their excess activism even in these columns. For example, the lack of flights from New Delhi to Shimla is hardly an issue for the courts to deal with. However, the constitutional order is based on the premise that the law of the land, as interpreted by the courts, will be respected by all. The recent instances of political parties or governments flouting court orders are not a welcome development.