Reshuffle Diversion Won’t Work!
Despite the breathless TV coverage of the imminent cabinet reshuffle the government’s ruse to divert attention will not work. The reshuffle will be meaningless. The game of musical chairs the reshuffle will enact is irrelevant to the crisis it faces.
The threat to the government does not come from adverse public opinion or from lack of parliamentary support. It comes from possible exposures of corruption and from the Supreme Court. The Union government is cornered. The Supreme Court (SC) order creating a Special Investigative Team (SIT) headed by retired SC Judges to probe the black money case could mean the death knell of UPA.
|The UPA government has not only destroyed itself. It has also been destroying the system.
The government had set up a High Level Committee (HLC) comprising directors of Intelligence Bureau, Enforcement Directorate, Financial Intelligence Unit, CBDT Chairman, CBI, Narcotics Control Bureau and Director-General of Revenue Intelligence to oversee the black money case. The SC, fed up with the lack of progress by HLC, ordered its conversion into the SIT headed by a retired SC Judge appointed by it. The SC order also added the Director of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) to the existing officials of the HLC. Given the mood of the SC displayed these past months all the guilty names involved with Hasan Ali and black money abroad could soon be exposed. From the cabinet’s stonewalling in this case until now, is it not fair to infer that there are fatally big names being protected? Names that might be irrelevant to cabinet formation?
That is why the government went into panic mode after the SC order. The order is extraordinary. By it the Judiciary will encroach into the turf of the Executive. Earlier the SC had merely monitored the probe into the Jain Hawala Case. Now it will actually establish the probe team under its aegis headed and run by its appointees.
Article 50 of the Constitution states:
“The State shall take steps to separate the judiciary from the executive in the public service of the State.”
However Article 142 (1) of the Constitution states:
“The Supreme Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction may pass such decree or make such order as is necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it , and any decree so passed or order so made shall be enforceable throughout the territory of India in such manner as may be prescribed by or under any law made by Parliament and, until provision in that behalf is so made, in such manner as the President may by order prescribe.”
From this it appears that the government could have attempted to block the SC order with the support of Parliament. Unfortunately for it, from all appearances Parliament and the entire nation overwhelmingly support the SC’s order. One learns that the government did attempt to persuade some officials of the SIT team to defy the SC and refuse to comply with its order. Sensibly, the officials refused. They advised the ministers to do their own dirty work. Now the government is contemplating a review of the SC order on the plea that the HLC had lacked sufficient time to show results. This argument is pathetic. It will convince nobody, least of all Judges.
It should not surprise if the government fails to stall the SIT. Within the next few months damaging exposures could erupt. The UPA government has not only destroyed itself. It has also been destroying the system. That is why the SC was compelled to take an interventionist role. After this government falls the nation will not only have to replace the government. One suspects it will also have to restore democracy by reappraising and rediscovering the Constitution. India stands on the threshold of a paradigm shift in its post Independence history.