Hyderabad (Agencies): In the wake of carping comments from the Supreme Court vis-a-vis the government in various cases, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday said the power of judicial review should never be used to erode the legitimate role assigned to other branches of the government.

"While the power of judicial review must be used to enforce accountability, it must never be used to erode the legitimate growth assigned to other branches of the government," he said inaugurating the 17th Commonwealth Law Conference at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre here.

This is "vitally necessary to preserve the integrity and sanctity of the constitutional scheme premised on the diffusion of sovereign power," the Prime Minister said.

His remarks come in the wake of the Supreme Court's proactive role in the 2G spectrum allocation, CVC appointment and other cases.

"A sound legal system based on the rule of law and effective and speedy contract enforcement are a major determinant of a favourable macro economic development,” he said.

Singh said the legal order must constantly adapt itself to change in a fast-changing world.

"That is the only way it (legal system) can retain its relevance. The role courts and judges play in making law an instrument of social stability and progressive change cannot be over-emphasised," he said.

The Prime Minister urged the jurists and thinkers to reflect on ways and means that would ensure the continuing strength and resilience of liberal institutions of democracy and the rule of law in the framework of a rapidly expanding economy.

CJI virtually slams govt

Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia, who also addressed the conference, virtually slammed the government on the food security issue and the lack of financial inclusive growth.

The Chief Justice favoured a government policy to provide food security to people below the poverty line.

"It is enforceability, which is the very essence of rule of law, that is important," he said.

The Chief Justice urged the Prime Minister to consider establishing the Indian Regulatory Service, on the lines of IAS and IPS, with experts in regulatory laws.

The CJI lamented that India lacked financial inclusive growth though it was one of the emerging economies on Sunday after it opened up in early 1990s under Manmohan Singh.

Constitutional democracy best for justice

Noting that rule of law was an instrument of progressive change, social and political stability and economic development, Singh said constitutional democracy with an unwavering commitment to the rule of law was the best choice for emerging economies that sought justice – political, economic and social – for all.

"Considering the reality and scale of conflict, deprivation and exploitation that affect the lives of millions of people in developing countries, they need to take bold and imaginative measures to pursue the path of development with a human face.

"Any political system must ensure equality of opportunity and access to fair and neutral processes and empower citizens to respect, protect and fulfil human rights," the Prime Minister said.

He said the Indian experience of ensuring unity of its people amidst diversity could be of use to other countries that faced the challenge of establishing a national identity despite cultural and religious diversities in their societies.

The Prime Minister asserted that his government stood committed to the pursuit of "inclusive economic growth" with welfare of the poor and the common man as the centre- piece of its policies.

Pak Chief Justice participates
   
Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said the government was endeavouring to make Indian lawyers the global players through world-class education.

He also listed the legal reforms introduced by the government, like establishment of gram nyayalays (village courts) for speedy delivery of justice.

Pakistan Chief Justice Ifthikar Muhammed Chaudhry delivered the keynote address at the conference in which about 800 delegates from 53 Commonwealth countries, including Chief
Justices of 15 nations, are taking part.

Queen Elizabeth in her message extended warm greetings for the success of the conference.