Dr Subhash C Kashyap
Expert, Constitution of India
Expert, Constitution of India
May 25, 2012 | Closed
Discuss the Constitution of India with IBNLive: Fundamental Rights
Dr Subhash C Kashyap will discuss the various aspects of the Indian Constitution. Read the relevant part here and post your questions related to Fundamental Rights (Part-III).
- Despite mentioned in the constitution of India under Article 244 (A) that an Autonomous State can be given to a hills districts of Assam like Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao. And for more than two decades the people of both the twin hills district have fought for it, many precious lives had been lost in the process and still continues; many young people took to arms for it, yet the Govt has turn a blind eye on this issue, can you explain the reason? or do you have any suggestions in what way we can achieve the Autonomous State? Asked by: Nathan Ronghang
- This is largely a political question. It is for the Union govt to take a decision in the matter or / & explain the delay. Personally I'm in favour of smaller states & power belonging to the people at the grassroots in smaller & smaller units. Soverignity belongs to the people & the real democracy would come only when we follow the Gandhian approach of bottom up rather than top down empowerment.
- What is your take on codifying the privileges of the members and the speaker? Asked by: Alok Padman
- Parliamentary privileges cover the houses of legislatures, committees of the houses & the members of the houses at the Union & the state levels. The officers of the houses as members & as presideing officers are naturally covered. Any privileges for any section of the people in a republican order are an anathema. The Parliamentary privileges were intended only to enable members to serve the people without any hindrance. These need to be codified at the earliest.
- What protection does the constitution offer to Whistle Blowers? Asked by: Priya
- The constitution as at present does not have any specific or separate provision for protecting the whistle blowers. Even otherwise this is a matter which can & should be taken care of by legislation.
- What is your take on parliament codifying its privileges? Don't you think it is the right of the subjects of the state to know what are the privileges of the members they elected to represent them? How apt is to leave the privileges to be interpreted in any way the parliament wishes to.? Asked by: Alok Padman
- I entirely agree. The privileges must be codified so that the people & the media know precisely what these are. Infact, the constitution provided for priviledges being laid down by law but the Parliament has not made such a law all these years. This is perhaps because the Parliamentarians are afraid of its becoming subject to Judicial review. Also, the privileges were intended only to prevent any obstruction in members discharging Parliamentary duties to serve the people & not to make them a privileged class.
- Sir do you agree that with time we must strengthen our Federal Structure ? Central Government should transfer some subjects from Central list to State list so that States can generate their revenue & they are not much dependent on Union Government for grants & Special Packages. Asked by: Abhishek Sangwan
- Yes, I very largely agree. The source of many of our problems in Union-State relations is the tendency of the Union to dominate & to centralise powers in its hands. Infact, the use of the term Centre doesnot have the sanction of the constitution. The constitution speaks of Union-State relations only as power is distributed between the Union & the States. The centre of power is not intended to be in Delhi. Things can change for the better even without the proposed transfers if there is political will.
- Do you agree to the view that Keshavananda Bharathi Case, saved the constitution, and the country, from a great governmental disorder? Asked by: Alok Padman
- Sorry, I do not agree. Under that Judgement the Supreme Court arrogated to itself legislative or even constituent powers which legitimately belonged only to Parliament. The Supreme court can declare the law, adjudicate disputes & interpret the constitution & the laws. It cannot make laws or determine constitutional amendments.
- Do you think that if the pioneers of constitution had laid provisions for only 2-party system at center, central governance would have been a lot better? Asked by: Sourabh
- The constitution makers didnot mention political parties in the constitution. They came to be mentioned only after 1985 by an amendment & that also for the limited purpose of outlawing defections by legislators. Unfortunately, while the electoral laws borrow the British FPTP system, we failed to evolve a two party or 3 party system on the British pattern. We have at present nearly 1350 political parties registered with the Election Commission. The result is that majority of those elected have more votes cast for others than for the winners. This needs immediate corrective. The number of parties also needs to be regulated by law.
- in a parliamentary democracy we have no reservation for the position of President, Prime minister, Chief Minister, Governor then why do we have reservation for Mayors and Sarpanch; by doing so r we not reducing the Leadership quality of our Cities & Villages ? Asked by: Dr. Piyush Ranjan Rout
- It should not be believed that by reserving some posts of Mayors & Sarpanches for Women & SC, ST etc the quality is compromised. Some of the others elected may not be necessarily better. As for President etc it would be most unfortunate if any formal reservations on Caste or gender basis are asked for. For the highest offices in the land the best should be elected or appointed without any discrimination & with the sole purpose of being able to serve the nation. Also, without any reservation for those posts, it is seen that the categories in view have been well represented.
- How will u describe the current position on Uniform Civil Code ? Asked by: Dipesh Jain
- As at present, the Uniform civil code is only mentioned as a Directive Principle in the constitution. There are separate personal laws in matters of marriage, divorce, succession etc. But in many areas there is one law which covers all for eg the Indian Penal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code etc. There is one state Goa where from Portughese times we have a Uniform Civil code in other matters also, irrespective of releigion. It works very well.
- Why is the creamy layer concept with respect to reservation not applicable to Sc and St categories ? Asked by: Ashim Shridhar
- The creamy layer concept was intended to & should apply to all categories where reservation is provided. Unfortunately, there is a perception that in practice it has not worked.
- Why is it India's judicial system not transparent and well spread as most of the legal advocates function in metros for rich corporates and individuals while poor areas have no access to judiciary and are at the mercy of police bureacrats and local politicians are constantly exploited by them Asked by: Manav
- I agree that the justice delivery system in India is very faulty & not at all ordinary citizen-friendly. Judicial reforms have become a categorical imperative. The poor can hardly afford the expensive lawyers & dilatory legal processes.
- How do you see the Indian constitution in relation to other countries as Indian constitution remains only on books while those with no constitution like China prosper and become world power while Indians only praise their democracy and freedom Asked by: Shailesh
- First, it is not true that China has no constitution. UK & Israel are often mentioned as two countries without a written constitution. But they also have constitution & constitutionalism. India's constitution has stood the test of times & has survived for more than 6 decades. It has many achievements. Ofcourse, as situation changes reforms becomes necessary. Our constitution doesnot stand in the way of India becoming a World power. The fault, if any, is of those who are operating the constitution.
- What are your views on laws like land acquisition bill wherein land is captured by rich politicians and corporates at throw away prices and poor farmers are forced to turn militants so is that not a case for judiciary to step in to save the livlihood of thousands and lacs of farmers and stop rich corporates and politicians to expliot poor in name of urbanisation Asked by: Shailesh
- In my humble opinion fertile land, so far as possible, should never be acquired for any other purpose. Also, any land aquisition should be only for public purposes & not for resale to business houses or land mafia.
- How can the Constitution help in electoral reforms, especially related to Right to call back and Right to reject candidates ? Asked by: EMathew
- Electoral system, law & processes are not contained in the text of the constitution. The constitution provides for adult franchise & for the election commission to conduct the elections to the offices of the President, Vice-President & memebers of Parliament & state legislatures. Reforms in electoral processes can be brought about by amending the law & the rules there under.
More chats with:Dr Subhash C Kashyap
Expert, Constitution of India