NEW DELHI: Former Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar today termed the government's decision to promulgate ordinances on FDI in insurance and coal mines allocation as "absolutely illegal" and "fraud" on the Constitution and urged the President not to issue them.
"That the central government should unashamedly admit that it is issuing ordinances because it could not get these legislations passed in Parliament, is by itself a solid reason for the President to refuse to issue the ordinances.
"If the matter was so urgent, why was the session not extended... It is to be hoped that President will decline to issue the ordinance," Sachar said in a statement here.
He recalled that the Supreme Court had held in 1987 that ordinance-making power "is in the nature of emergency power to take action when the legislature is not in session. This power is to be used to meet an extraordinary situation and it cannot be allowed to be perverted to serve political ends".
Sachar also asked whether the "urgency (of the Centre is) born out of compulsions to honour a secret pact with foreign investors, who in any case will not invest in this uncertain state of law. Why this unseemly hurry?"
He also said Life Insurance Corporation had been giving rich dividends to the central government for the last five years.
On the ordinance on coal mines, Sachar, also the former President of People's Union for Civil Liberties, said it violated the Coal Mines Nationalisation Act "which prohibits mining of coal by private parties".
"This device is a crude attempt to set at naught coal nationalisation law by the ordinance which is totally impermissible," he said.
The Union Cabinet had yesterday approved key insurance and coal sector reforms which were stuck in Parliament logjam.