It’s time to abolish Rajya Sabha

I refer to V. Eshwar Anand’s article, “No to domicile: Supreme Court upholds Parliament’s right” (Sept 11) and Punyapriya Dasgupta’s article, “No longer a House of States: In the interest of politicians” (Sept 19). The issue raises a plethora of questions.

The Upper House is designed to give membership to the federating units. In the US, federal entities have equal representation. The British Constitution, based on conventions, traditions and customs, is a creature of sheer chance. The US model is rigid being built upon the theory of checks and balances.

Our founding fathers examined the UK, the US, the USSR and the Swiss models. Ours is modeled on the Government of India Act, 1935 and the Westminster model. To make a cosmetic model of a federation, partially, the US Senate was followed as a model for the Rajya Sabha without the Senate’s exceptional powers. The chapters on Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles were lifted from the USSR model. The blending is with a thin veneer of coating.

Whereas the US is yet to cross the 50th digit in amendments, India has surpassed a century. A mincemeat has been made of the Constitution, with a pliable Upper Chamber, to strengthen the vote banks. The expenditure entailed in the maintenance of both Houses is enormous. Those defeated at the hustings are brought through the Rajya Sabha, making it a “rehabilitation House”.

Now when the Rajya Sabha overtly stands equated with the Lok Sabha, in terms of membership, where lies the necessity and utility to retain the same any more? It’s time to abolish it.

V.I.K. SHARMA, IAS (retd), Jalandhar City



Undoubtedly, most constitutional amendments (including the one amending the Representation of People Act) made so far by our Parliament are aimed at helping the political class. Apparently, very few of them serve the public interest. This is a sad reflection on the Constitution of the world’s largest democracy.

I strongly feel that Parliament should not have dispensed with the domicile clause. What is the distinction between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha today?

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana


Parliament has no limits to enact laws and the Supreme Court has rightly upheld its right to amend the Representation of People Act to do away with the requirement of domicile for candidates contesting elections to the Rajya Sabha.

Law in its widest sense has been defined as a rule which should conform to a prescribed course of action. Our Constitution is, perhaps, the lengthiest and voluminous amongst the written constitutions of other countries containing about 295 articles and nine schedules. Yet, laws enacted by our Parliament come up before the Supreme Court more frequently for clarifications and interpretations.

The Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court has now dispelled doubts among some sections regarding the structural composition of the Rajya Sabha. Still, as pointed out by Eshwar Anand, the expression “ordinarily resident” may warrant further elucidation and clarification regarding its comprehensiveness coming under the relevant provisions of the law.


A judge worthy of emulation

Justice J.L. Gupta’s tribute to the late Justice P.C. Pandit was illuminating (Sept 20). It does depict his multifaceted personality. In 1960, Justice Pandit was elevated to the Bench while I was enrolled as an Advocate. Thus, I had the privilege to appear before him many a time.

He was a champion of civil liberties. He set laudable precedents like admitting the case at the preliminary stage when the court fee was heavy, when the judgements of the trial court and the lower appellate court were at variance with each other and when the point involved in the case was to be scrutinised factually and legally. For him, of all the tyrannies, the legal technicality was the biggest tyranny.

Justice Pandit was a patient listener — calm, punctual and composed with unimpeachable integrity as his greatest virtue. Transparency, credibility, impartiality and accountability to the laws of the land added glamour to his righteous conduct of a judge sanctified with learning, purity of life and indifference to material wealth, name and fame. He will always be remembered as a judge worthy of emulation.

GUR RATTAN PAL SINGH, Advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh

Jobless surgeons

For the last eight years, many fresh medical graduates find it difficult to get good placements. I am afraid, the medical profession has started losing its sheen. More than 80 per cent of the working doctors have changed their mindset not to let their wards go in for medical graduation. Now by providing service avenues to MBBS doctors and medical services to the villagers, the Punjab government had done very well.

The government, it is said, is further planning to create more posts of doctors for MBBS degree holders. I feel there are hardly any takers for these posts today. Instead, the government should allocate these funds for creating posts of dental surgeons in the villages. For, job prospects for dental surgeons are bleak these days.




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