New Delhi: In a balancing act, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid said that while it was for the courts to decide as to who should be locked up, the dictum of bail being the rule and jail an exception has been laid down by the Supreme Court itself.
Elaborating on his controversial statement that the judiciary needs to understand the ‘political economy’ in the country, Khurshid told that “it is not for me to lock up people, it is for the courts to decide”.
At the same time, he recalled that the Supreme Court had laid down the law “bail is the rule, jail is an exception”.
The Law Minister was speaking in the backdrop of his comment, “if you lock up top businessmen, will investment come?” which was termed as “disturbing” by the Supreme Court today.
Khurshid said his comments had nothing to do with the 2G case but agreed with the questioner that a lot of people think that many of those long detained in the scam had been deprived of their liberty.
In a changing society every institution has to respond to the demands of changing time and the courts had done that in the case of protection of environment for which they needed to be complimented.
Similarly, “the demands of our time are that we must appreciate what dissent is”, the minister said adding that it was the Supreme Court that had given bail to Maoist sympathizer Binayak Sen without saying that he was guiltless.
“They said he will be tried. If he is wrong he will be punished. But that is no reason to keep him in prison. They gave him bail,” Khurshid said describing the order as “brilliant”.
He went on to ask, “but when economic issues come does the Supreme Court pay the same attention to developing economic issues as the rest of us do?”