Chidambaram calls higher judiciary over ambitious

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday termed the higher judiciary "over ambitious" but complimented it for its activism which "enlarged the ambit of fundamental rights" of citizens.

Delivering the inaugural the K N Katju memorial lecture on `What ails the Indian judiciary`, he said that like any other institution that has reached a ripe and old age, the judiciary is under stress.

"Another cause of stress is that the judiciary, especially the higher judiciary, is over ambitious. An ambitious court tends to think that there is a judicial solution to its problems," he said.

The Home Minister said that in his view the Indian judiciary is not afflicted by any malady that is incurable.

Chidambaram, himself a reputed lawyer, said he had no intention to "pour oil" on a topic which was already hot and burning, which sent the audience consisting of eminent jurists into peals of laughter.

"I wonder why more subjects of discussion in India are quickly converted into hot and burning topics," he said.

"I join in applauding the judicial activism of courts, especially the Supreme Court, in enlarging the ambit of fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution and creating a human rights jurisdiction," he said.

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