Rajan warns against ‘Appellate Raj’ - The Hindu

Rajan warns against ‘Appellate Raj’ - The Hindu My VIEW: Dr Rajan’s Goa speech,February 20, 2015 Dr Rajan said: “If the government or regulator is less effective in preparing its case than private parties, we ensure that the appellate process largely biases justice towards those who have the resources to use it, rather than rectifying a miscarriage of justice. So in thinking through reforms, we may want to move from the theoretical ideal of how a system might work in a country with enormous administrative capacity, to how it would work in the actual Indian situation. Let me emphasize, we need “checks and balance”, but we should ensure a balance of checks. We cannot have escaped from the License Permit Raj only to end up in the Appellate Raj!” The context in which RBI Governor cautioned against Appellate Raj has not been brought out in this report. This refers to the article on Dr Raghuram Rajan’s February 20, 2015 Goa speech. A careful reading of the text of Dr Rajan’s speech will throw light on the background of the ideas included in the speech, as Dr Rajan, with a teacher’s patience and simplicity has given the background in which he was speaking each sentence. The speech can be accessed at rbi.org.in I do not find anything wrong in RBI Governor speaking in ‘public’ on issues outside RBI. My own personal view is that sooner we get out of the rigidities that were imposed by the British on the conduct of the Empire’s servants especially on the freedom of speech, the better. Perhaps half the criticism against Dr Rajan comes from quarters which would like ‘public servants’ keep silent on issues not ‘directly’ concerning them. To them, Dr Rajan had explained his position thus, in a recent media interview: “…I have a platform as RBI Governor to initiate certain debates, which, I think, are important. There are economic debates because the economy impinges on the central banker again and again. I think it is important to have these debates. My remit is about the safety and stability, and the growth of the Indian economy. Therefore I speak out on some of those issues. But I am fairly careful in not creating a controversy for the sake of creating a controversy…..There can be different opinions about it”(Business Today, March 1, 2015) M G Warrier, Thiruvananthapuram


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