SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Honour SC judgement in toto

I appreciate H.K. Dua’s forthright article, 9th Schedule route plugged: SC saves the Constitution from politicians (Jan 15). Time and again, the politicians have shown a position of unanimity and consensus on issues of political commonality such as reservations and also for saving the 284 laws parked in the Ninth Schedule, now open to judicial scrutiny.

The Union Law Ministry would be hard pressed to cope with the PILs already before the courts. Confrontation with the judiciary by hothead regional politicians cannot be ruled out as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has asked for a Chief Ministers’ Conference on this issue. Going a step further, the Tamil Nadu Government has now asked the Union Government to re-write the Constitution.

The Chief Ministers from the all-India parties ought to honour the Supreme Court’s sagacious decision and evolve a durable solution
to the problem of bypassing the basic structure of the Constitution which is truly democratic to the core at present.

The politicians ought to know that instead of being paternalistic, it would be better to provide an enabling environment for the enterprising constituents. Whatever the politicians do, they need to act within the parameters of a disciplined and ethical democracy.

Dr P.N. CHOPRA, Hoshiarpur


 

II

The unanimous verdict by the nine-member Constitution Bench on the Ninth Schedule is historic. The ruling has further expanded the frontiers of judicial review.

In the past many years, this Schedule has been flagrantly misused by the powers that be. And now, the laws included in it have lost immunity. The judicial scrutiny of laws in the Ninth Schedule would check violation of the fundamental rights and the basic structure of the Constitution. The laws that fail this twin test can be declared null and void.

In India, it is the Constitution - and not Parliament - which is supreme. This is in accordance with the intentions of the founding fathers who have adopted a written constitution for the country.

Parliament cannot have unlimited amending powers as to damage or destroy the Constitution to which it owes its existence and also derives its power. It is hoped that politicians of different hues will take this judgement in the right spirit and do not think in terms of their short-sighted vote bank politics.

GURDERSHAN SINGH, Chandigarh

III

The Supreme Court has not only saved the Constitution but the nation itself from selfish politicians who have been playing havoc with the system for narrow partisan ends. The misrule of the Congress, especially the dictatorial regime of Indira Gandhi had been the worst nightmare for the nation.

Now, when the Supreme Court has very rightly snubbed the politicians, all the laws fraudulently put in the Ninth Schedule, especially the one regarding the extension of the provision of caste-based reservation policy, should be reviewed and corrective measures taken to give the much-need respite to the  harassed citizens.

A.K.SHARMA, Chandigarh

IV

The politicians believe that Parliament has the right to amend the Constitution at their whim and they cannot be subject to the limitation of the basic structure doctrine.

The landmark judgement reiterates the power of judicial review and the dire need to protect fundamental rights from the arbitrary action of both the legislature and the executive.

The politicians must abide by the provisions of the Constitution and desist from rocking the Constitutional scheme.

Their attack on the judiciary to meet narrow partisan ends is prejudicial to national interest. We must respect that the Constitution is sovereign and the judiciary is  supreme because of its power of judicial review.

D.R. SHARDA, Chandigarh

 

Punish both for adultery

The editorial Dealing with adultery rightly observes that both genders should be covered under the adultery law. Section 497 IPC is flawed in that it punishes only the man for adultery while the woman goes scot-free. The argument that a married woman though “involved in an illicit relationship with another man, is a victim and not the author of the crime” is fallacious.

Adultery victimises and traumatises the husband in the same measure as it does the wife. Adulterous liaison of either spouse is a flagrant infringement of the conjugal rights. Both the adulterer and the adulteress are guilty of infidelity to their spouses. Both the consenting partners are guilty of a crime against civil society.

Moreover, all men are not lecherous just as all women are not virtuous. To penalise one and spare the other for the same crime is unfair and unjustified. Unless the law is suitably amended and both perpetrators of adultery are brought to justice without any gender discrimination, the desideratum will remain only a distant dream.

Dr C.S. MANN, Govt. College, Beetan (Una)


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