SHOT IN THE ARM

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 Jul 2017 11:34:51


THE suggestion made by the Supreme Court to the Government to either frame law or implement new guidelines to give more teeth to the authorities for regulating the activities of NGOs and monitoring utilisation of funds by them, has given a shot in the arm of the Government. The apex court has also clearly stated that the Government can initiate civil and criminal action against NGOs which misuse Government grants even without any law. The Supreme Court’s observations should silence all those who are critical of the Government’s recent tough action against some of the NGOs found to be indulging in anti-national and unlawful activities. The Government disburses huge amounts of grant to the NGOs undertaking social welfare programmes. However, under the garb of doing social work, some of the NGOs have started indulging in anti-national activities while many others gobbled up the money. The Government thus had to crack a whip on such NGOs making them fall in line. Now, even the apex court has endorsed the action.

PERTINENT QUERIES

THE highest court of the land, the Supreme Court has raised pertinent queries with Election Commission of India (ECI) on the issue of debarring for life convicted politicians. The agitation in the queries of the Supreme Court over the silence of the Election Commission was quite visible and resounded with concern at its inability to act against convicted politicians. When the honourable bench asked the ECI, “If you (ECI) feel constrained by the legislature, then let us know. If you are even constrained to the extent of giving your view, feel free and say so clearly,” it became very clear that the electoral body was hamstrung to act due to stonewalling by the political community. If this is the situation with a constitutional body like the Election Commission, then the common man may not have anywhere to go. That the Court has to offer a word of support and protection is unfortunate. At least that is the impression that comes out of Supreme Court’s queries to the Election Commission. This was not the situatiowe bargained for.