AGNI CELEBRATES 9 YRS
Citizens should be involved in governance: HC judge
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Mumbai: The real problem facing today’s society is not designing law but implementing it. And the task of implementing it is given to those whose conduct itself is under scrutiny, said Justice D Y Chandrachud of the Bombay high court. He was delivering the keynote address on the subject Enforce the Rule of Law at the ninth anniversary celebrations of the city’s wellknown NGO Action for Good Governance and Networking in India (AGNI) on Saturday at the St Xavier’s college hall. Talking about his own experience as a judge, Justice Chandrachud said that each time he heard a matter he asked himself “Do I make a difference?’’ because he did not see the orders being implemented. “We must contemplate the need to incorporate citizens as stake holders and increase the participation of citizens in governance as well as allow experimentation,’’ he said. One of the greatest problems faced by the judiciary, said Justice Chandrachud, was access to information. “The information is provided by those who are themselves under scrutiny.’’ Elaborating, he recounted how when the farmers’ suicide case came up in the Bombay high court, the judges asked the Tata Institute of Social Sciences to carry out a survey and to find the reasons behind the suicides. The institute, he said, submitted an excellent report. Nearer home, with regard to the problem of hoardings, the court took a two-pronged approach ruling no hoardings on heritage structures and set up a citizens’ committee to report on whether the hoardings were in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone notification and the Motor Vehicles Act. He pointed out that the municipal commissioner was on record that the hoardings added to the grandeur of Mumbai. “There is,’’ he said, “a deliberate act of suppression of information and the right to information act is performing a valuable function,’’ he added. AGNI has now decided to form a core group of various NGOs that will prepare an action plan and launch a campaign to ensure the rule of law.