Courts cannot ask legislature to enact statute for punishment: Madras HC
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by R Parthiben, an agriculturalist and a resident of Trichy district. The petitioner sought to amend the PCA for imposing maximum punishment of life imprisonment, death sentence by hanging and seizure of all immovable properties, jewellery, bank accounts of the people against whom the case has been registered under the Act.
A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and justice M M Sundresh observed that the petitioner seeks to espouse a public cause by suggesting that the Prevention of Corruption Act ought to be suitably amended by incorporating maximum punishment of life imprisonment and even death sentence. The judges observed that they do not know if the petitioner’s sentiment reflects the public perception to corruption in public office in general and hoped it does not.
The judges observed that at any rate, it is for the appropriate legislature to look into matters of policy, including prescribing punishment for offences and no writ of mandamus can be issued by a constitutional court to command any legislature to enact a particular statute or to prescribe a particular form of punishment.
Disposing of the petition, the judges observed that the writ petition is not entertained and it is left open to the petitioner to move the political field for appropriate action in accordance with law.