The Supreme Court on Thursday has directed the petitioner to make a representation before the Government on his plea seeking directions to constitute expert committees to examine the best practices of the countries ranked among top 20 in Rule of Law Index- 2020 and accordingly take steps to improve the pathetic ranking of India.
The bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice AS Bopanna was hearing a petition filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay who has pointed out that India ranked 69th in the Rule of Law Index 2020 causing injury to public at large and 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.
The petitioner further submitted that “we claim to be governed by the Constitution and rule of law is integral part of Article 14 but our pathetic ranking in rule of law index says something else. India ranked 66th in 2011, 67th in 2012, 66th in 2013, 68th in 2014, 59th in 2015, 66th in 2016, 66th in 2017, 66th in 2018, 68th in 2019 and 69th in 2020 in the Rule of Law Index. We never ranked even among top 50 countries but neither our Legislators raised this issue in parliament nor successive governments took apt steps to improve India’s pathetic international ranking in the rule of law index.”
Pointing out the importance of Rule of Law the petitioner referred to the speech of Chief Justice at the International Judges’ Conference held in February 22, where the Chief Justice of India Justice SA Bobde said, “The rule of law is the most fundamental feature of modern constitutions and its success depends on how judiciaries across the world respond to emerging challenges”.
The bench has directed the Government to decide the representation with a period of 6 months.
-India Legal Bureau