Thursday, August 17, 2006

the ubiquitous chair - continued

Chair Superior – Here, I am trying to find out who sits in this chair? The law enforcement authority? The lawmakers? Who is it, with reference to the Constitution of India, that can and should sit in this chair? Or is there no such Chair? I am not trying to interpret the Constitution of India but only trying to highlight the debate as reported by the media quite frequently – in the name of constitutional crisis.

Parliamentarians say that Parliament is supreme and the courts should not interfere, to amply confirm that it is their prerogative to amend the constitution at their will. It may be a fact that since they are the elected representatives of the people, they are bestowed with the powers to amend the Constitution. But did they tell the people when they seek votes that they are going to do so many things to protect the people by bringing in amendments to the Constitution in Parliament when they come to power? If they have not put before the people their thinking or their ideas and their wish list and when such amendments are not debated openly before the public or through the media, how can they amend the constitution? Who has given them the right? Obviously they assume such rights once they come to power. It is true that the opposition party can raise questions in the Parliament when any amendments are discussed but then they are all birds of the same feather, aren’t they? Also when the ruling party or parties command the required numbers to pass an amendment, where is the question of dissent?

Secondly, Parliamentarians say that they are the lawmakers, or so describe the media. For argument, if the lawmakers themselves are lawbreakers, who can sit judgment? Assuming a problem is posed to the Supreme Court to obtain clarity with reference to a constitutional crisis, such matters go before a constitution bench to give judgment. Does this mean, the judgment pronounced by the learned bench is sacrosanct? If such a judgment is not to the liking of the ruling party, another amendment will be passed by the Parliament?

What is the role of the President? Has he to simply sign any papers sent to him, if not the first time, the second time? If that is so why there should be a President? Why not such matters be referred to the Supreme Court instead of to the President. President has no way of showing his dissent?

All the above may be apprehensions not necessarily to be answered or debated. May be the matters are not as serious as they appear to be. However, doubts remain as doubts unless clarity is available.

More to follow....


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