ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Anurag Bhaskar

Reservations, Efficiency, and the Making of Indian Constitution

The notion that reservation is contrary to efficiency and merit has been invoked consistently. Even the Supreme Court of India seems to have agreed withthis proposition in  some judgments, as it held that Article 16(4), which provides for reservation in services, would be limited by Article 335, which mentions the term “efficiency of administration” in the Constitution. This paper explores the Constituent Assembly Debates to show that the Constitution framers did not subject reservations to the test of efficiency or merit. In addition, “efficiency of administration” mentioned under Article 335 cannot be treated as an exclusionary construct, as it was done in pre-independence era.

 

The Myth of ‘Collective Conscience’

India’s legal doctrine of “collective conscience” cannot be traced back to the original concept as propagated by French sociologist Emile Durkheim. The consistency with which this concept has been used by the Indian judiciary while imposing the death sentence, compels us to contemplate how it has been applied. An attempt is made in this article to present the flaws in the concept of collective conscience and in its application in India.

Constitutional Rights of Atheists and Non-believers

Though atheism has been socially prevalent in India, it has remained a grey area in the legal context. There are no specific laws catering to atheists and they are considered as belonging to the religion of their birth. The Constitution provides for “freedom of conscience” under Article 25 since 1950, but constitutional rights of “non-believers” were never substantiated by courts
until recently.