President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday cautioned against judicial activism resulting in the erosion of constitutional principles of separation of powers between the three pillars of state and and called on Indian judiciary to reinvent itself through introspection and self-correction.
Speaking at the valedictory function of the sesquicentennial celebrations (150 years) of the Madras High Court here, Mukherjee said: "Judicial activism should not lead to the erosion of Constitutional principles of separation of power. The principle of separation of power is the power of restraint."
Appreciating the intervention of courts in issues based on complaints received by post cards or a newspaper report, he however said judicial activism should not blur the distinction between the three organs - legislature, executive and judiciary - of the state.
Noting laws are enacted by legislature, the executive implements them and the judiciary interprets the laws, Mukherjee stressed that the balance of power mentioned in the Constitution should be maintained.
He said each organ of the government functions within its own sphere and none takes over the function of the others is one of the basic features of the Indian Constitution.
Stressing on the need to preserve and protect the independence of the judiciary from any encroachments, Mukherjee said that despite the challenges, the judiciary is working hard and called for its further strengthening.
He said the Constitution is being amended to increase the retirement age of the high court judges, and sought the assistance of all concerned to ensure filling up of vacancies.
According to him, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms should be encouraged to speed up the delivery of justice.
Speaking about the Madras High Court, Mukherjee said it is one of the three courts established in India by Letters of Patent issued by Queen Victoria.
The Madras High Court was set up in Aug 15, 1862, exactly 85 years prior to India's independence, he said, terming it a "guardian and watch tower". Many luminaries emerged out of this court, he added.