In recent years, there has developed the common perception, that the guardians of the constitution, the Hon’ble Courts, seem to be over reaching the functions and powers enshrined for them in the constitution they are duty bound to defend. Their main and only role is to ensure that the laws enacted by the legislature, and the rules and regulations enforced by any authority, are not ultra vires of the constitution, writes Prof HC Pande
For any system to continue to function successfully as designed,the system has to have a control mechanism so that the desired performance can always be maintained.
The scheme adopted is,normally,closed loop control,where the system output performance is fed back and compared with the designed performance and the control mechanism acts to keep the system performance close to the designed level.This is the basic feedback control system in which the feedback could be negative or positive.For a stable,and,vibrant democracy to function,feedback control is essential and vital.
The key elements of democratic governance are,the Legislature,the Executive, the Judiciary,and the Media.In simple terms the legislature is the mission setter, the executive is the work-horse,the judiciary is the control system and the media is the alarm system,the watchdog,providing the feedback.
The way the constitution has been framed, the judiciary oversees itself, which is as it should be, for, control over a control system does not make sense. However, forbidding the watchdog to even bark is a bit too much. This has resulted in a potentially dangerous situation as it amounts to the watchdog being only allowed to wag its tail no matter whatever goes on. In the control system terminology this means permitting only positive feedback which has its own implications. Again, to put it in technical language,’positive feedback tends to cause system instability.When the loop gain is positive and above unity,there will typically be exponential growth,increasing oscillations,chaotic behaviour or other divergence from equilibrium’.Negative feedback is always needed,to stabilise a system,getting out of control.Coming down to the common man’s language,no reproval,at any time at all,of a system,causes the system to go out of control,and,it is judicious criticism,that keeps it in check.
In recent years, there has developed the common perception, that the guardians of the constitution, the Hon’ble Courts, seem to be over reaching the functions and powers enshrined for them in the constitution they are duty bound to defend. Their main and only role is to ensure that the laws enacted by the legislature, and the rules and regulations enforced by any authority, are not ultra vires of the constitution. For reasons unknown,there have been inexplicable interventions of the judiciary in matters outside their mandate.From the management of Covid epidemic to the selection of the Chief Election Commissioner is quite some range.With over two crore cases pending in the various courts of the country,their forays into someone else’s territory is beyond the comprehension of the man in the street.
Majesty of the law notwithstanding,M’Lords are as human as the rest of us with the same weaknesses and same failings.It follows that they should also be subjected to praise and criticism like the rest of us.When there is praise all the time,and,no reproval,then it is a case of positive feedback with its inherent dangers.Negative feedback is the urgent need.
It is said that once the great Ashoka was tried,and,being found guilty of murder,was sentenced to death.Since the emperor was considered as living God in the ancient times,he could not be hanged.So,to meet the ends of justice,his statue was hanged.Can we have,at least this privilege?
(Prof. H C Pande is Vice Chancellor Emeritus, BITS, Mesra)