Jan Lok Pal – Constitutional, or Not?

Aug 20th, 2011 | By | Category: Affairs

The Constitution of IndiaThe round one of the confrontation between Anna Hazare led India Against Corruption and Dr Manmohan Singh led Government of India, has been won by the former. The manner in which the latter and the Delhi Police dealt with the agitation, by taking Anna into preventive custody and subsequently housing him at Tihar jail, has given further impetus to the anger of the constituency that is behind Anna’s movement, the Indian middle class, making them come out on to the streets.

To its credit, the Government did not waste any time in correcting its course. The damage, however, had already been done. The debate got shifted from Jan Lokpal Bill to the right to protest and right to freedom of expression, etc. Parallels were drawn to the dark days of emergency and the British rule, though the freedom with which the media and the agitators were going against the Government did not justify any such comparison.

The whole debate on Jan Lokpal and its merits was relegated to the background and those against the Jan Lokpal Bill, including the Government, became defensive. We kept on hearing about how the intention of Anna is all noble, only his methods are not constitutional. Points of view that questioned the clauses of Jan Lokpal Bill were muffled by the ‘with Anna or with Corruption’ calls. No middle ground was left for anyone who had genuine doubts on the structure of the proposed Jan Lokpal.

This Article will not go into the constitutionality or morality of ‘fast unto death’, as a method for forcing an elected government to legislate in any particular manner. Instead, it focuses on the core issue, the Jan Lokpal Bill and the constitutionality of its various clauses.

Basic Features of the Indian Constitution

While there is no judicial unanimity on what constitutes the basic features of Indian Constitution, different Benches of the Supreme Court have declared different aspects as its basic features. A perusal of these decisions would tell us that the following are the established basic features of the Indian Constitution:

  1.  Supremacy of Constitution
  2.  Republican and Democratic form of government
  3.  Secular character
  4.  Separation of Powers
  5.  Judicial review
  6.  Independence of Judiciary
  7.  Harmony between Fundamental rights and Directive principles
  8.  Limited power of Parliament to amend the Constitution

Need to maintain Constitutional Supremacy

While we are concerned about the corruption in the society, we must equally be concerned about any tampering of the basic features of our Constitution. While we keep hearing views on throwing away this Constitution, as it has not served whatever imaginary purposes of the speakers, just an objective look around the world will tell us how lucky we Indians are to have such a balanced document to guide our affairs, as a nation. India, being a nation that has more diversifying than unifying factors among its people, has been able to survive and prosper as a strong nation, within such a short time after independence, only due to the great systems and processes given to us by our Constitution.

Supremacy of Basic Features

The power of Parliament to legislate and amend provisions of the Constitution came up for judicial review in many cases; most important of them being Keshavananda Bharati Vs State of Kerala, the famous decision of 13 judges’ Bench in 1973. The majority in this case held that the power of amendment under Article 368 of the Constitution is not absolute, but subject to various implied and inherent restrictions imposed by the basic structure of the frame-work of the Constitution. In other words, the power to amend under Article 368 is subject to the qualification that the basic structure of the framework of Constitution cannot be altered.

Indira Gandhi Vs Raj Narain (1975) is another case where Supreme Court struck down a constitutional amendment that sought to exclude certain electoral process from the judicial review. Readers may know that the genesis of Emergency (the black days of Indian democracy) was in the same incidences that led to this case.

The Parliament in its efforts to regain the ‘supremacy’ in amending the Constitution, added clauses (4) and (5) to Article 368, trying to make the amending power of Parliament unlimited and to limit the judicial review over such amendments. However, this amendment was also struck down by Supreme Court in Minerva Mills Vs Union of India (1980) case.

Provisions of Jan Lokpal Bill

Now let us look at the scheme of Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by the Anna Hazare Group of Civil Society. For brevity’s sake, I will not go into the details of each clause of the draft. I will only concentrate on the basic features of the draft Bill and test them against the basic features of Constitution.

1. Jan Lokpal is not an elected body; it is selected by a group of people, most of whom are not accountable to people of this country in any manner.

2. It is an executive body that has investigative and prosecution powers; but not answerable to the executive or legislature of this country. It is not even answerable to the judiciary (except for the risky proposition of challenging the bona fide of any particular member before the Supreme Court)

3. It has powers to investigate members of Parliament, members of Judiciary and even Prime Minister of the Country. It can also adopt phone tapping and/or other surveillance measures against any of the government functionaries, including Prime Minster!

4. While one may be able to successfully challenge the prosecution by Jan Lokpal in a court of law, it’s all other activities are not open to appeal/challenge.

5. It is a body in which police and courts are all rolled into one. It can suo moto initiate investigation against anyone. It can black list any entity, it can cancel any license and it can impose penalties.

6. Judiciary and judges are under its purview. Therefore, when Jan Lokpal prosecute a person, he is at the increased risk of a biased decision by the Judge against him because, the judge is not independent and is subservient to the authority of Jan Lokpal.

7. While Jan Lokpal is structured as a body of 11 wise men sitting in benches, its hundreds or thousands of officers (this number will have to necessarily go up if all the institutions and functionaries, numbering about 40 lakhs under Central Government alone, are to be covered effectively) when acting on its behalf are also deemed to be Lokpal, having all the powers under the Act. Just imagine any of these officers exercising unbridled powers of investigation and prosecution on a hapless citizen. Or, should we believe that as soon as an officer becomes part of Jan Lokpal he will become another Anna Hazare – beyond all temptations?

8. Jan Lokpal has the power of imposing punishments on public servants. This is against the present scheme of constitutional provisions wherein the same is determined by the Union Public Service Commission.

9. Jan Lokpal can also initiate proceedings against a Member of Parliament on matters falling under the conduct within the Parliament. These aspects are usually under the purview of the Speaker/ Chairman so as to not affect the independence of the members. While any mala fide conduct of an MP needs to be checked, shifting such powers from the House to the Jan Lokpal would indeed adversely affect the position of our legislature.

10. Last but not the least, the selection criteria for members of Jan Lokpal, inter alia, prohibits all those persons who “would ever have been connected with any political party”. In case of other conflicts, the section provides for severing the relations with such conflicts before appointment, but for anyone who has associated with any political party, at any time in his life (not sure if that would include student/youth organisations affiliated to political parties as well) have no such remedies. Once political, always condemned!

Now let me list out how these provisions are affecting the basic features of the Constitution:

1. An appointed body exercising vast powers over elected bodies is definitely against the democratic system of governance.

2. Jan Lokpal indeed is a part of executive arm of the State but not answerable to the elected executive body, i.e., the Cabinet or to the Parliament. It also wields many powers that are the preserve of judicial bodies. Thus the basic feature of separation of power stipulated in the Indian Constitution would have to be given away to bring Jan Lokpal.

3. The power of monitoring and proceeding against higher judiciary in the hands of Jan Lokpal is definitely against the basic features of independence of judiciary and the power of judicial review. The corner stone of republican democracy is the ‘rule of law’ and that will be the worst casualty of Jan Lokpal. Prosecutors having power to prosecute the Judge is a deadly proposition.

4. Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality before law and protection from arbitrariness and discrimination. However, provisions like disqualifying all those people who were at any time connected with any political party in any manner and persons who were at any time charge-sheeted for an offence under the corruption laws (mind you- charge-sheeted and not convicted) are discriminatory in nature and would not stand the test of Article 14.

5. As stated above, provisions of the present Jan Lokpal Bill go against many of the basic features of the Constitution, passing such a Bill into an Act would itself be against two other Basic features, namely, supremacy of Constitution and limited power of Parliament to amend Constitution.

I am not going into the issues such as members of the selection committee etc, which are bizarre to say the least. A weakened executive, having to look behind while taking each of the decision, is a sure recipe for disaster, as far as economic and strategic progress of the country are concerned.

To summarise, even if Indian Parliament is successfully pressurised through people’s agitation or fast unto death, the Jan Lokpal Act will not stand the test of judicial review as many of the clauses will, in all likelihood, be held as ultra vires of the Indian Constitution.

Some other aspects for consideration

Concentration of power in the hands of a group of people, that too not accountable to any constitutional body, is another cause for disaster. I cannot believe that merely because Jan Lokpal is devised by a section of Civil Society, its officials and members will be in any way more honest than the judges of the higher judiciary.

While we are all concerned about corruption, as citizens of this country we should consider that when we demand an institution with unbridled powers to fight corruption, are we unwittingly walking into a regime that upsets the present status quo (though inefficient in some aspects, yet good enough in many other aspects, including rule of law and personal freedoms) and installs an authoritarian system?

We have seen how systems were subverted by our leaders and bureaucrats in spite of all the checks and balances. Therefore, to expect that with no such checks and balances, all the members of a massive institution like Jan Lokpal will function completely above board and fairly, is really naive.

Conclusion

So, the issue is not merely with the method adopted by Anna and his Group but also with the very basic demand of theirs. We need an Ombudsman who will address our grievances and force the Government to act; but not a super Government that lords over all other arms of the State.

Any changes that are likely to affect the balance of Constitutional framework must be attempted only after considering and deliberating on all the possible consequences and not under any threats, even if the threat is from the people or Anna Hazare. The only way forward must be wide ranging dialogue with various sections of society under purview of Standing Committee of Parliament or any other body and to arrive at a consensual Bill that meets the aspirations for an effective ombudsman while conforming to the basic features of the Indian Constitution.

(Images : From the Internet)


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Jayasankar is a Lawyer by education and is currently working as a Director in one of the Corporate Finance advisory companies, heading the Legal and Compliance functions. A product of Indian Air Force, he has done his LLB from the Panjab University, Chandigarh, Masters in Business Law from NLSIU, Bangalore and Masters in Business Administration (HR) from IGNOU. He is an avid reader and a keen observer of current affairs and politics. He blogs at Thoughts and tweets @jay_ambadi.

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8 comments
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  1. Hi,

    while I concur with your concerns over the consistency in the Honesty and supremacy of the Jan Lokpal in the years to come (as it’s true that you cannot guarantee a Anna Hazare in every member of the civil society), it’s true that we definitely need a reformation in the current Law & Judiciary as it has Failed to curb corruption at higher levels and has forced the common man to compromise at all Levels

    thanks,
    surekha

  2. Thanks for this. It helped me make up my mind on which side I stand!
    Excellent guidelines for Jan Lokpal.

  3. This much research and you still get it all wrong! If only I had a bit of patience to pick ur article and rip it to shreds.

  4. hi,
    fine materials given by you
    but the govt must stand to its promises.
    Parliament has got the duty to discuss the bill appropriately which must be fruitful to all class of society.

  5. Brilliant analysis. Who can claim himself or herself as holier than thou? Moreover, our democracy is not so weak that Libya or Syria like experiment can be effected on our system or to destabilise our body polity. However, we must remember the maxim-Republics fall when profligates thrive and wise are banished from the counsel.

  6. Today, India is seething with corruption, people are bubbling with anger and are filled with an insatiable desire to eradicate corruption from all the echelons of society. An octogenarian social activist , Anna Hazare , feeling the pain of the people and sensing the need of the hour , took the lead and gave the Government perhaps it’s one of the toughest challenge. After eight abortive attempts to pass the Government drafted Lokpal Bill in the Parliament , the time was ripe for the country to launch an integrated and unified attack on the Government to table another draft prepared by the Government in consultation and co-operation of the Civil Society members , which is known as Jan Lokpal Draft. A draft Committee was constituted comprising ten members , five from the Government and another five from the Civil Society. This was done with an objective of providing teeth to the Jan Lokpal so as to enable it tackle issues related to Prevention of Corruption Act and to ensure that it does not end up being another C.B.I. , CVC , I.B. etc.

    Today , Jan Lokpal Bill , has become the talking point of the day. Every lips across the length and breadth of the country is vouching and canvassing with a lot of zeal , be it a “common man” , “politicians and political parties” and “corporate honchos” , but the serious question which we want to pose is how many of them have gone through it.

    Moreover , this question has special significance with respect to lawyers. Being law students our inquisitiveness in the draft was aroused and we have tried to relate it to whatever little knowledge we have of law , but to our surprise this draft is afflicted with many loopholes which require serious consideration and deliberation.

    That gives us the impetus to raise our voice in order to atleast acquaint if not convince our fellow citizens having half baked knowledge but supporting it to the brim of their potential.

    1)Section 4(e) of the Jan Lokpal Bill Draft , 2011 , defines “acts of corruption” as follows :-

    i) anything made punishable under Chapter IX of the Indian Penal Code or under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; which would also include any offence committed by an elected member of a house of legislature even in respect of his speech or vote inside the house.

    ii) willfully giving any undue benefit to any person or obtaining any benefit from any public servant in violation of any laws or rules,

    iii) victimization of a whistleblower or a witness.

    iv) repeated violation of citizen’s charter by any public servant.

    105(2) of But before giving my assent to it due consideration must be given to Article 105(2) of the Constitution of India which is “No member of Parliament shall be liable to any proceedings in any court in respect of any thing said or any vote given by him in Parliament or any committee thereof, and no person shall be so liable in respect of the publication by or under the authority of either House of Parliament of any report, paper, votes or proceedings.”

    Now the first point to be noted is that Section 2(e) of the Jan Lokpal Bill Draft is in clear contravention of Article the Constitution of India.

    2)Section4(3) of the draft is “The Chairperson and the 10 members of the Lokpal shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a Selection Committee.” The most striking part is Section2(6) of the draft which is “The Selection Committee shall consist of the following:?

    (i) The Prime Minister of India, who will be the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

    (ii) The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha

    (iii) Two judges of Supreme Court of India and two permanent Chief Justices of the High Courts selected by collegium of all Supreme Court judges

    (v) The Chief Election Commissioner of India

    (vi) The Comptroller & Auditor General of India

    (vii) All previous Chairpersons of Lokpal.”

    Now , it is a well known fact that the Lokpal is a body that shall be constituted with an objective to wipe out corruption from India. Moreover , Government has been accused of being the epicenter of corruption. The thing that strikes me is as to how come the crusaders of Jan Lokpal accuse Government at one time calling them “Corrupt” and then in the end giving the power to the top Government officials to select the Chairperson and the members of Lokpal. This amounts to a contradiction as they themselves accuse the Government of corruption and when it comes to wiping it out they give the responsibility to the same. In other words this amounts to knowing and blaming someone to be irresponsibile and corrupt, and then giving the responsibility to wipe it off knowing fully well that it would be abortive.

    Another important point to be noted is as Section4(8) of the draft which reads as follows “A Search Committee shall consist of 10 members. 5 of its members shall be selected by the Selection Committee from amongst the retired Chief Justices of India, the retired Chief Election Commissioners and the retired Comptroller and Auditor Generals with impeccable reputation of integrity, who have not joined any political party after retirement and who are not holding any office under any government. The 5 members so selected shall, through consensus, co?opt another 5 members from the Civil Society in the search committee.”

    This also startles us as the responsibility to short list candidates for selection by the Selection Committee is to be done the Search Committee. Lokpal , when constituted , shall have to fight against the Government dignitaries including the Offices of the Chief Justice of India , Chief Election Commissioner , Comptroller and Auditor General Of India. How can the learned dignitaries expect the Selection Committee to select persons who have impeccable integrity. Who would like to put his house in danger , perhaps , no one. So how can the draftsman even think that the Selection Committee would choose people of impeccable integrity. In order to get people having impeccable integrity selected , we also need to have people who have impeccable integrity as selectors , which , probably after going through the Selection Committee , we find it difficult to understand and appre ciate.

    In Section 4(6), the SelectionCommittee is mentioned and it reads as follows :- “The Selection Committee shall consist of the following:?

    (i) The Prime Minister of India, who will be the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

    (ii) The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha

    (iii) Two judges of Supreme Court of India and two permanent Chief Justices of the High Courts selected by collegium of all Supreme Court judges

    (v) The Chief Election Commissioner of India

    (vi) The Comptroller & Auditor General of India

    (vii)All previous Chairpersons of Lokpal.” In the selection committee why only top Government officials should be given a priority ? They have been given the priority since the time of independence , but of no avail. The time is ripe to give proper representation to the marginalised section and the learned middle class which forms the majority of our population. There are so many learned people in our country , such learned professors , engineers , doctors , social activists who are quite sensitive to issues of corruption , hunger , unemployment , still little regard is given to them due to the policy of the Government. Why should the majority; the learned middle class be left out of the selection committee of Lokpal. Why do not we choose the members of Lokpal through an electoral and a democratic process. Why do we not constitute an electoral college comprising people who have at least earned a post graduate degree from both the urban and rural part of the country and ask them to vote. In this way we can have a Lokpal which would be democratic. One thing we must be sure of and that is if the Selection Committee is to consist of people who are holding such offices, the process of selection of Lokpal being clean would be heavily impaired. The same problem is with respect to Search Committee.

    In Section 11 it is stated “The Selection Committee shall consist of the following:?

    (i) The Prime Minister of India, who will be the Chairperson of the Selection Committee.

    (ii) The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha

    (iii) Two judges of Supreme Court of India and two permanent Chief Justices of the High Courts selected by collegium of all Supreme Court judges

    (v) The Chief Election Commissioner of India

    (vi) The Comptroller & Auditor General of India

    (vii) All previous Chairpersons of Lokpal.” The power to investigate against the members of the Lokpal has been vested in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. With all due respect to the integrity of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India , this would be a source of big problem for the proper functioning of the Lokpal. Lokpal should be given complete independence. It should have it’s own vigilance cell. Complaints against it’s members should be dealt with by it’s own watchdog first and then the report of the watchdog should be sent to each member of the electoral college. Then there opinion on it should be sought. The majority opinion should be taken as binding.

    People having “Legal Background” means and includes “ Advocates of the High Court , Supreme Court and Judges as well.” With due regard to the integrity of Judiciary and Lawyers , I am sorry to say that it would be a major failure as far as their efficiency is concerned. How far they would be sensitive to the issue and would maintain their dignity and integrity is a question of grave importance and significance?

    Section 27(4)- During the course of investigation if the Investigating Officer finds any property or asset which appears to have been acquired by the corrupt acts of an accused person who is being investigated, it shall make an order of attachment of those assets so that they are available for confiscation at the time of the conviction of such accused persons. In case the accused person is ultimately acquitted, these attached assets and properties will be restored to him.

    Explanation: This power lies with the magistrate of the civil court to attach the property. Moreover giving power of civil courts to a group of individuals section 7(2) needs to be constitutionally looked at.

    Section 31(1) – No government official shall be eligible to take up jobs, assignments, consultancies, etc. with any person, company, or organization that he had dealt with in his official capacity.

    Explanation:

    This particular clause violates the fundamental right mentioned in part III article 16 of the Constitution. Any law made should be under the framework of the constitution.

    Section 32(1) – The part of the Delhi Special Police Establishment, dealing with investigation and prosecution of offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, shall stand transferred, alongwith its employees, assets and liabilities to the Lokpal. The Central Government shall cease to have any control over the transferred part and its personnel.

    Explanation:

    Delhi Special Police Establishment is a body created by the Central govt and the provision says that it shall not be transferred to any other body or state government, so a further amendment needs to be done in order to accommodate this section.

    Section 29(12): The appropriate Bench of the Lokpal shall be deemed to be the designated authority under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act empowered to approve interseption and monitoring of messages or data or voice transmitted through telephones, internet or any other medium as covered under the Indian Telegraph Act read with Information and Technology Act 2000 and as per rules and regulations made under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885.

    Explanation: Court of law never accepts phone tapping, message tapping and the same as evidence.

    It would violate one’s fundamental right of ‘Right to Freedom’ and any provision which is in contravention of the basic structure of the constitution is void ab initio. Moreover phone tapping can be done only on the recommendation of the Ministry of Home Affairs and transferring that power would mean creating a parallel legislature.

    Lokpal says that any person who would be nominated as a member of the Lokpal shall be scrutinized by the public where the names of the said members would be put up on the website and the public opinion sought.

    Problem: If the person is a public figure then even if so the person is corrupt or have cases of money laundering against him in which he is indirectly involved, even then he would get the support of the public. Example could be of a person who belongs to the field of ‘Tinsel Town’ or ‘Sports’.

    FLAWS IN THE STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS

    · This bill provides for the constitution of a Lokpal Authority which will be independent of the public officials and public authorities that it will be empowered to investigate and prosecute.

    Explanation: We’ve already shown that it is not an independent body.

    · The existing vigilance machinery and the existing grievance redressal machinery also suffer from the problem of conflict of interests where vigilance officers and grievance redressal officers are unrealistically expected to exercise vigilance over their own bosses or those who exercise administrative control

    Explanation: No provisions in the form of guidelines have been given by the Lokpal to keep a check on the conflict of interests within the Lokpal.

    · The bill, therefore, provides that the vigilance machinery and the grievance redressal machinery also be brought under the supervisory control of an independent Lokpal.

    Explanation: Lokpal is also a vigilance body and if we go on to argue that the already established vigilance machinery and the grievance redressal machinery also come under the purview of Lokpal, then under whose watchdog would be the Lokpal??

    OUR VIEW:

    Creating yet another institution will not curb the menace of corruption. Corruption has spread like a serpent in deep within our society. We should remember that ‘People get the govt as they themselves are’. At every step a commoner resort to corruption to avoid difficulties and hard ships that occurs at every stage of govt offices. So it would be wrong on our part to blame the government completely as we ourselves are also collectively to be blamed.

    We should rather try and bring reforms in the already established social institutions. Education of the masses about their rights and various laws those are necessary in day to day life. Transformation of not only the social institutions but also of the minds should take place and people should be self-vigilant rather than being self-ignorant.

    Some critics of Jan Lokpal Bill:

    Lokpal shall have, and exercise the same jurisdiction, power and authority in respect of contempt of itself as a High Court may exercise, and for this purpose, the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act 1971 shall have effect subject to the modifications that the references there is to the High Court shall be construed as including a reference to the Lokpal.

    No proceedings or decisions of the Lokpal shall be liable to be challenged, reviewed, quashed or called in question in any court of ordinary civil jurisdiction.

    Problem would arise as Lokpal would become a body with investigative and judicial powers whose decisions cannot be reviewed in regular courts.

    “ PMO and higher Judiciary if prosecutable by the Lokpal would foul with the basic structure of the Constitution” – Justice Verma

    Conclusion: Anna may be a gandhian (as contended by his followers) but his demands are certainly not. Gandhi’s idea was of Decentralization of Power, but the Lokpal is Draconian, anti-corruption law in which a panel of carefully chosen people will administer a giant bureaucracy.

  7. Hi,
    While i agree to all the conent in the article, i still have some big basic questions….which are about the our democracy, supremacy of the constitution, policy making powers of parliament of India.

    1.wide ranging dialogue with various sections of society under purview of Standing Committee of Parliament or any other body and to arrive at a consensual Bill that meets the aspirations of the people- This argument is correct but the problem is there is no mechanism (except elections once in 5 years) in the constitution of india which can provide for such a wide ranging dialogue and debate to happen outside parliament, by the citizens of Inida and not by their representatives, who can not be completely trusted to be working for the welfare of thier masters i.e, The people who elected them.
    The members of the constituent assembly thought , felt and assumed and agreed that the elected representatives will be honest, effective, non-corruptive, focussed on people’s welfare, would be having great debates in the parliament before passing or rejecting them, or would be holding “wide ranging dialogue with various sections of society “. But where is the official structure which shows that every citizen’s opinion is respected, heard of, discussed, debated and after consensus reaches the parliamnet for further debates and to be made as laws.? now if you say all this is supposed to be happening in the parliament as reperesentatives are representing their people and they would have discussed the policy issues with their masters- then i guess you are in touch with reality.
    The reality is that
    – every five years, these represntatives, who are usually rich( ( Constitution has allowed the elections ot be so costly that , no poor man can even think of contesting forget winning elections), corrupt(in most cases once elected he/she and their family becomes owners of crores of currency & property) or cowards(in general.. as they never show the guts/willingness/will to fight against each other’s corruption, using constitutional/legal means) either buy the “representation” (vote) by bribing or by force or by selling the ‘caste’ or ‘numbers’ cards to their masters.( the worst part is that most of the masters are not aware that they are the masters or in some cases have started believing that they can not do anything about anything in the so called “Democratic, Republic,constitution bound,political party led governmental system ” as they have no role specified in the constitution but to elect their representatives every five years and suffer.)
    – I mean there is no constitutional powers given to ordinary people , may be the constiuent assemby assumed that ordinary people should not be given real power 🙂
    -And seldom has there been any worthwhile debates on policy matters off late may be since i was born 🙂 (39years) forget – “wide ranging dialogue with various sections of society”
    -As a Master of these representatives if “ME” ( there could be many like ‘me’ including yourself Jay 🙂 )one of the people of Inidia who are the source of the power of constitution as indicated in the Preamble of the constitution, think and feel that i don’t need a representative to represent in the assembly or the parliament and i can/want to represent myself- the constitution does not allow me to be my master/representative, it imposes a representative on me. which i want to debate…but where do i debate?( newspapers only publish selcted articles, only limited people reaqd news papers, tv channels never care for debates…they some advertising assignmnets called deabtes for 30 mintues everyday …..and everyday there will be a new debate as they do not want to bore their viewers…if i call for a public meeting, i myself would be doubtful of reaching the venue on time, forget people paricipating in the debate in big numbers, police takes 7 to 30 days to grant permission to hold public meetings….the list goes on where do i debate, where does common man raise his concerns , debate, create consensus, should i go to court? court says-executive powers or beyond its purview in some cases, in some cases, it takes so much of time that i will end up orphaning my family , running around courts and lawyers(who represent us just like MLA’a & MP’s)…..why constitution has not given me even debating powers, a place to debate ( Please do not point me to local village/town/city councils which are full of represtatives, please give me people, the real masters to debate with , not their selfish represenatives.
    -there is no official respect for opinions of people of India. please do not tell me that elections indicate the people’s opinions.( please re-read my comments on elections given above)
    -In every system There are the following elements:

    1. input in the system
    2.out put from the system
    3.The Functioning system itself along with its functioning subsystems
    4.The Continous Feed back.( which when fed back in to the system, creates a better system ,continously)

    Now Jay, where is this feedback in our current political system, where constitution is supreme, and where id the element of Feed back in the democratic system India.-Please do not tell me that “Elections Results” are the feed back system. if it so…then there system in incomplete in inefficient. everybody sees that.but everybody is helpless so they say- “The system is like that – we can not do anything” and their representatives run roit with the public funds and the welfare of the people, treating their true masters as Garbage.

    And now if we see our constitution in this faint light that i have managed to put it under, we should be able to see that so much needs to be corrected (i am afraid you wouldn’t agree 🙂 ) but people do not have any real power given by the constitution to do any corrections to their system..the constitution put the people at the mercy of thier representative and a party and beuracratic system without any real authorised feedback from people of india.
    -Why does indian constitution allow people to help themselves to make better policies. decisions, systems….why? be cuase it is impossible ( i will give you possible solutions- but you can not do anything with them 🙂 you see, Only parliament makes policies nad it will not ( very sure of it? what do you think?) make any policy which would give more debating, decision making, powers to ordinary people, give them a platform, thier own. not the one dominated by their representatives, whose deplorable attributes,activities,games,shames,scams are all very well documented .
    -Why in the hell i can not represent myself in Indian parliament or karnataka assembly, when i do not a representative.
    – in a court of law if i say i do not need a lawyer and i can fight the case myself, it would be allowed, changing of lawyers is also allowed. why does our constitution allow me to represent myself? or change my representation.
    With due Respect and allegience to the Constitution of India, i am pained to say, the basic feature of constitutional/parliamentary supremacy is hurting people more than helping them.
    Thanks & Regards
    Nagaraja Ramayya

  8. I am sorry to add here after reading the comments against the article, that we have been using our skill in finding only the faults as if a protest is in our culture, but no application of mind to know its feasibility.

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