Article 370's abrogation a national, not political issue: V-P

Chennai, Aug 11 (IANS) Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu said here on Sunday the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution that conferred special status on Jammu & Kashmir was in the interest of the nation and it should be looked as a national issue and not a political issue.

The Vice-President was speaking at the launch of the book tilted `Listening, Learning and Leading' that chronicles his two years in office.

On judiciary, Naidu pointed to the recommendation of a standing committee and said Supreme Court Benches should be in various cities to save people of difficulties they face. "It's high time to have the Supreme Court Benches in at least four major cities. To start with, one could be set up in Chennai," Naidu said.

The Vice-President said it's time to review the system of judges' appointment and stressed creation of a transparent and credible system. He said the judicial process should be people-friendly and certain types of cases, like election petitions and those linked to the anti-defection law, should be decided early.

He pointed to a petition challenging election of a Lok Sabha member that was filed in 2009. Two Lok Sabha elections had taken place after that but the case was still pending, he added.

He also supported use of regional languages in high courts.

The Vice-President called for review of the anti-defection law and said it's the time to strengthen the legislature and the executive.

Stating that the legislature should be dynamic and there was huge scope for improvement, Naidu said it should discuss, debate and decide without disruptions.

The credibility, capacity and capability should be the deciding factor for a person to enter the legislature and not the caste, cash and criminality, he added.

Sharing his private feelings, Naidu said he was planning to retire from politics and get into social service 2019 onwards. "I had told Prime Minister Narendra Modi about this. I had also told my wife to be ready to leave Delhi and head back to village," Naidu recalled.

"During discussion for selection of the vice-presidential candidate, I had suggested that he/she should be from the South, from a farmer's family and be a capable person," Naidu said. Naidu said when he heard his name was being proposed, he was in tears.

--IANS

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