12 April, 2021

The House Of Aliens

If courts must intervene in legislature, the Rajya Sabha election law is asking for it

The House Of Aliens
It was brave of Chief Justice R.C. Lahoti to have said that it is the duty of the judiciary to ensure that laws framed by the legislature were in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution. There are numerous examples where courts have rectified the mistakes which Parliament and state legislatures have made while passing bills. The Constituent Assembly's chairman, Dr Rajendra Prasad, had himself expressed apprehensions about defective bills. In his farewell speech, he had said that the best of India's minds, meaning thereby the judges and lawyers, would interpret the Constitution but those who would make laws were not required to have any minimum qualifications. What Chief Justice Lahoti said was an assurance that the judiciary would not allow any law to violate the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

Yet, it is sad to see the courts sitting over some important matters related to the Constitution. The Supreme Court itself has pending before it a few such cases. One of them is the 18-month-old petition challenging the amended central law governing the election of...

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