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Securing the Right to Work-Some Constitutional and Economic Aspects

Securing the Right to Work Some Constitutional and Economic Aspects Anil Nauriya While the new central government has done well to reiterate its commitment to the right to work, a deeper understanding is required of the immense constitutional implications of, and the economic underpinnings reouired for securing this right.

Change in Government-The Presidents Riders

Change in Government The President's Riders Anil Nauriya President Venkataraman's invitation to V P Singh to form the government is not an invitation simpliciter. It is at the same time a suspended notice of future presidential intervention.

Sleeping under Bridges-The Indian Footnote

The Indian Footnote COURTS have generally not appreciated the various constitutional and civil rights and wrongs involved in the cases of hawkers and squatters who approach them for relief from time to time. The judgment delivered by the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the "Hawkers' case" the other day is no exception to the increasingly frequent judicial practice of appearing to paint on a large canvas and then presenting the outcome as complete or comprehensive soon after making a few desultory strokes of the brush.

Relationship between State and Religion-Antinomies of Passive Secularism

Discussion of secularism in India takes colour mainly from the Hindu-Muslim question and, more recently, the Hindu-Sikh question. This has shrouded from view certain other aspects and inter-related components of the 'secularisation process'.

Retrogression and Defamation-The Cost of the Pending Bills

Retrogression and Defamation The Cost of the Pending Bills Anil Nauriya THE proposed Defamation Act is precisely that. The legislative draftsmen obviously knew what they were about. For the bill is a confused confession that the allegations being made against various public and semi-public figures would not be defamation under the existing laws. As such, it is self-defamatory. That perhaps saves the proposed Act from the possible technical criticism that its proper title should have been the Defamation (Offences) Act, which is the usual form for such things [Sati (Prevention); Untouchability (Offences); 'Prevention' of Corruption Act.] The novel offence 'criminal imputation' is dangerous insofar as it docs away with the well known and standard exceptions to the concept and offence of defamation. But it is a curious 'offence'. It will be criminal imputation to make a false allegation of commission of a criminal offence. By the same token, to allege falsely that someone has committed the offence of criminal imputation would itself surely be criminal imputation. It is thus an offence that could explode in the face of whoever makes a complaint to the Court of Sessions about such an offence having been committed. It would, at any rate, transport us into a hall of legal mirrors and a world of infinite images, the truth or falsity of one reflecting that of the other. Such a provision cannot have been the handiwork of those wishing to find practical solutions to problems of everyday life

Hiss of the Serpent-The 59th Amendment

The constitution is expected by the country' s rulers to perform the function, of a mass anaesthesia. 'We have assumed the power to suspend the right to life and liberty in an emergency. On declaration of an emergency we therefore have the warrant to kill you, if we should so wish

Agitation by Advocates-Meaning and Purpose

Agitation by Advocates Meaning and Purpose Anil Nauriya ADVOCATES in India like to recall the association of their profession with the struggle for freedom. Their memories are selective, as is indeed their professional role. It is true that a conspicuous number among the higher rungs of the national movement were from the legal fraternity. But it is not often recalled that lawyers continued to attend court during the various campaigns launched against the imperial regime. Though courts were included in the boycott during the non- co-operation movement of 1921, no one deigned to tell lawyers in those days that they ought to go on strike, and that too in definitely. The boycott was sought to be achieved instead in two ways. First, by the effort of the people themselves who were called upon to try to resolve their disputes through the mediation of third parties and informal village panchayats. And second, it was suggested to lawyers that they give up practice. Those who did so were welcomed into the ranks of the movement and usually given places of leadership. To give up practice was treated as a major sacrifice; even today biographical remarks about many national leaders in school and other text books include the fact of their having given up what is inevitably described as having been a lucrative' practice. Equally pertinent, however, is the fact that a large proportion, perhaps the larger proportion, of lawyers did not give up practice. They may have helped the movement in other ways from time to time, but they remained in their kachehries. Whatever their motives, which were not necessarily base, the members of this precedent-conscious profession basked in the outward liberalism of the Anglo- Saxon system, and respected its formal judicial structure. One can still occasionally hear district lawyers of pre-1947 vintage in the so-called mofussil quote Wordsworth and all the rest to make a point in mundane property cases. While Wordsworth found it heavenly to be young and alive in revolutionary times, the Anglo-Saxon intellectual package in India provided sustenance to those who would keep things as they are.

Emergence of a Sri Lankan Sheikh Mujib

Sheikh Mujib Anil Nauriya Sheikh Mujib's India policy became, in a short span of a couple of years, unpalatable to the east Bengali middle class. Nurtured on a long tradition of India baiting the average east Bengali could not attune himself to the new relationship with India. Jayewardene is likely for sometime to be identified in Sinhalese minds as India's man, just as Sheikh Mujib was in Bangladesh. This can do no good to him or even to India.

The Flight of the Eagle-High Cost of India s Sri Lanka Policy

 The Flight of the Eagle High Cost of India's Sri Lanka Policy Anil Nauriya THE Indian action in Sri Lanka has been welcomed, albeit in varying degrees, in domestic circles. The extent to which reactions outside India have been virtually blacked out by Indian newspapers can hardly be accidental. At other times, even a word of grudging praise by some obscure western newspaper is enthusiastically reported in the columns of Indian newspapers. The welcome, whether gleeful or cautious, extended by the opposition parties and the non-official media is founded almost entirely on the justifications that there may have been for the measures taken. A discussion of this kind is bound to be very subjective and, given the specific nature of the Tamil problem, highly emotive. Save on the question of international law, on which the position is quite clear, various views can be taken to show why the action was warranted. For our purpose it is not necessary to present them. As the entire matter is, in any case, a fait accompli the next and perhaps the more important question concerns the long-term consequences of what has been done.

Indian Judicial Renascence-The Lines Not Crossed

Two judgments delivered by Chief Justice Bhagwati on his last day in office are of more than ordinary significance. The judgments in the Bihar Ordinances Case and the Shriram Case indicate certain limits that the Supreme Court has set for itself in what may broadly be described as public interest litigation, or social action litigation, which has developed fast and deep in the last nine years.

Environment and Politics

November 15, 1986 Protecting the Cat from the Mouse The Lokpal Bill, 1985 Anil Nauriya IT is a matter of considerable relief that the Lokpal Bill 1985 was referred to a Joint Committee of the two Houses of Parliament. It is, however, to be regretted that the Committee's work has not proceeded very smoothly. At least a part of the interruption in its activities could have been avoided if a new Chairman had been appointed soon after the earlier incumbent became a minister. This was done only much later. Unless the Committee's work is speeded up, yet another opportunity for the establishment of the ombudsman machinery will be lost. As it happens, many Bills on the subject have lapsed in the past on account of inadequate legislative despatch.

Presidential Form of Government-Some Fundamental Propositions

Presidential Form of Government Some Fundamental Propositions Anil Nauriya IT is deceptive 10 say that the presidential form of government, particularly as proposed in the current discussions on the subject, would be just another form of democracy. In the latest formulation put across by, V P Sathe, the Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers (presumably with more substantial backing) the President is to be chosen directly by the entire Indian electorate. There are two sets of consequences here which have been completely missed in the entire debate so far.


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