The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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CPM plans salvo at judiciary

Calcutta, April 2: The CPM will formulate a policy to 'combat' what it believes to be the increasing encroachment of the judiciary on the administrative affairs and the fundamental rights of the people.

The party also decided to hit out at the 'corruption in the judiciary that can no longer be ignored'.

CPM sources said the five-day 18th party congress beginning in Delhi on April 6 will formulate a policy in this regard. The party would focus on courts banning strikes and demonstrations and laying down strictures on the appointment of teachers in government schools.

The CPM resolve comes close on the heels of Calcutta High Court sentencing politburo member Biman Bose to three days of simple imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10,000 for contempt of court. Bose was accused of making contemptuous remarks against a judgment of Justice Amitava Lala restricting rallies in the city on working days.

The party is also irked that courts have imposed fines on political parties for calling bandhs that have prevented people from working. This, it feels, encroaches on the fundamental rights of the people.

The CPM also felt the judiciary had encroached on administrative terrain when the high court had recently hauled up urban development minister Asok Bhattacharya for the state of the city's roads.

The party also resented the court's interference in the appointment of teachers in schools across the state.

The court had given a string of strictures to the state education department after it failed to provide permanent employment to those teaching in schools on a minimum salary. State education minister Kanti Biswas said the court was interfering with the state's education policy by asking the government to provide permanent jobs to teachers.

'A Supreme Court judgment has also denied government employees the right to strike. This glaring attack on the right to strike has been taken up by high courts, which have prohibited general strikes and even fined political parties for holding demonstrations. The Supreme Court has given a series of judgements which are against the interests of the working class,' said a draft resolution prepared for the party congress.

'Reforms in the judicial system are necessary to provide speedy relief to the people at an affordable cost. Corruption in the higher judiciary is a matter of concern and can no longer be ignored. There is also a trend of judicial encroachments on the powers of the executive,' it said.

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