New Delhi: The Supreme Court yesterday said India’s governance would not have faced a chaotic situation had the bureaucracy not allowed itself — the “steel frame” of the state — to be rusted.
“We have separation of power. A strong neutral bureaucracy and a steel frame bureaucracy” and “administration will run if an honest advice is given and government acts on it”, said the green bench of Justice A K Patnaik, Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Fakir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, recalling the words of the constitution’s framers.
However, the court regretted that things were not as were visualised by the framers. Justice Patnaik observed: “The idea was to create a neutral bureaucracy of steel frame. What exists today is a rusted frame, which is broken, crushed and backbone destroyed.”
Observing that “governance is getting chaotic”, Justice Patnaik said: “Our country will be still safe if that steel frame is there.”
The court’s observation came in the course of the submission of counsel A D N Rao, who cited various decisions of the Goa government which were at variance with each other in the allocation of mining leases granted to different companies. Rao, who appeared for the court appointed Central Empowered Committee on enviornment, favoured a clampdown on all the mining leases within one kilometre of wildlife sanctuaries and reserves.
For mining leases that are within 10 km of wildlife sanctuaries and reserves, Rao said their operation should be put on hold and then examined. He said that mining activities should be permitted in these mines only after a nod by a standing panel of the National Board of Wildlife. IANS