New Delhi, Jun 18 (PTI) The Supreme Court Thursday refused to entertain a plea seeking a direction to the Centre, states and UTs to set up expert committees to improve India’s “pathetic” 69th global ranking on the Rule of Law Index (RLI).
The index, which covers 128 countries, is based on a nations' performance on factors such as government openness, fundamental rights, civil and criminal justice and containing corruption.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde took note of the submissions of senior advocate Vikas Singh, appearing for BJP leader and petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay, and said that this was not an “appropriate case” for the court and a representation to this effect can be made to the government for taking action.
In the proceedings conducted through video-conferencing, the bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and A S Bopanna, said the government can take a decision on setting up of the panel to improve India’s RLI ranking within six months from today.
Besides all states and the Union Territories (UTs), Upadhyay, in his PIL, had made as parties the Law Commission of India and Ministries of Home Affair and Law and Justice.
The plea had sought constitution of expert panels “comprising at least one renowned jurist, people representative, public servant, economist, educationist, social activist and journalist,” to suggest steps to improve India’s pathetic 69th international ranking in Rule of Law Index”.
It also said that expert committees should examine the best practices of the countries ranked among the top 20 in the Rule of Law Index - 2020, compiled by World Justice Project -- an independent organisation.
“In alternative, direct the Law Commission of India to examine the best practices of the countries, ranked among top 20 in the Rule of Law Index - 2020, and accordingly suggest steps to improve the International Ranking of India,” it said.
The plea said: “Injury caused to the public is large because India ranked 69 in the Rule of Law Index. It confirms poor performance across eight factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, public order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice and criminal justice.
'Poor Rule of Law has devastating effects on right to life and liberty...also offends rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21”. PTI SJK ABA MNL SA