Kolkata: The future of democracy in India is in danger because power is concentrated in the hands of a few and this could lead to a “presidential form” of government, undermining the nation’s federal structure, Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said at an event where Chief Justice of India UU Lalit was also present.
“All the democratic power is being seized by some people, one section of people. And if this goes on, the country may head for a presidential form of government. Where will democracy be then?” Mamata said at the convocation of the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences. Apart from Chief Justice Lalit, who is the university chancellor, Chief Justice of Calcutta HC Prakash Shrivastava, Bangladesh chief justice Hasan Foez Siddique and SC judge Aniruddha Bose were among the guests at the event.
Mamata said: “The judiciary must save the people from disaster and injustice. ”The judiciary must hear people’s cries. Now, people are crying behind closed doors.” Mamata also lashed out at mounting incidents of media trial. “There are so many things going on. . . before a verdict is pronounced, the media trial is on,” she said. “The media cannot control the judiciary; they can give their opinion. If you think I am wrong, I will be the first one to apologise. . . . The media is attempting to influence the judiciary. They give their opinion and accuse anybody and abuse anybody.”
Saying respect and izzat (honour) are integral to one’s character, she said: “Our only prestige is our respect, our izzat. Agar hamara izzat loot liya to sab loot liya (If someone robs us of our honour, they rob us of everything). The judiciary must look into this. ”
Mamata asked the fresh batch of law graduates to ensure justice to the people. “When the people are without hope, they move court to get justice. We have the highest regards for the judiciary. It is like our temple, mosque and church,” she said.
The CM congratulated Chief Justice Lalit, saying he had restored people’s faith in the judiciary. “During his two-month stint, we have seen what judiciary is. ”
Chief Justice Lalit urged the students to keep their minds open and try out all solutions to solve a problem. Also have compassion for mankind and society,” he said.