Institutions should stick to constitutional mandate: Jaitley

New Delhi, Nov 23 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said there was clear separation of powers provided in the constitution and an impression should not go that one institution can take better decision than the other.

“The court is entitled to tell the executive to act as per the law. The court is not entitled to tell the executive that now I will discharge your function,” he said, during an event at Bureau of Parliamentary Studies and Training (BPST) hall in the Parliament House precincts.

“What the law is the court can lay down, and according to law, the government should be directed to discharge its function. But in some cases, you went beyond that,” the Finance Minister said.

He also raised concern over levy of tax by the courts, indirectly referring to the one percent levy imposed on new diesel-run vehicles by the Supreme Court a few months ago.

“The constitution squarely says that only parliament can impose a tax, government cannot. And in parliament, tax imposition is money bill, only Lok Sabha can do it. The court says if you use a vehicle consuming diesel, (then) there will be tax of so much. How does an order of this kind comply with the constitution,” Jaitley asked.

He added: “And once this tendency picks up, it creates an impression that one institution and separation of powers is superior to other institutions. And superior institution can take better decision.”