THE cabinet on Monday approved a proposal to amend the constitution to restore parliament's authority to impeach Supreme Court judges. This will effectively make the judiciary subservient to the legislature.
A fundamental prerequisite for a truly democratic dispensation to function properly is the system of checks and balance between the three organs of the government. The proposed amendment, we area afraid, will distort the very precondition even further. Given the nature of our politics, the parliamentary system already stands distorted today. And that has been further pronounced by the continuous parliamentary boycott and the majoritarian nature of the parliament. And with a legislature that has a brute majority as now, and an opposition that is also part of the government, the new legislation will accord an absolute power to the parliament and to the ruling party by default, something that was never envisioned by the original framers of the constitution.
To add to that is the provision of Article 70 of the Constitution that absolutely subjugates a legislator to the party position. And those who cite the examples of other countries that have the same provision of legislative jurisdiction over the judiciary would be able to cite very few, if any, examples of provision like an Article 70 in their constitution.
The proposed change, when there is no palpable reason for that, leads one to the only conclusion; that it is being done to assert absolute power of the ruling party on all the branches of the government. And we conclude by citing Lord Acton that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Unfortunately, those who seek absolute power do not consider the inevitable consequences of it.