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    BlogJudiciaryUnrealized Constitutional Promises - Realities after 70+ Years of Independence

    Unrealized Constitutional Promises – Realities after 70+ Years of Independence

    Introduction

    Constitution of India is not just a book; it is similar to Bhagavad Geeta in Hindus, Bible in Christians, Quran in Muslims, and Guru Granth Sahib in Sikhs. It has value more than any other book in the country. The provisions laid down in the constitution have taught us to live with dignity without any fear from anyone. We are now entering into our 71st year as Republic; we must ask: Do we know the fundamentals of our Constitution? There are many recent events that demonstrate the omissions of our government; and it also challenged the independence of the judiciary. They are the evidences of unrealized constitutional promises. 

    The duty of a true patriot is to protect his country from its government.

    Thomas Paine

    Social Inequalities

    According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), caste-based inequalities have been increased by 46% in the state of Gujarat from 2015 to 2017. There were many disturbances which took place in the name of inequalities in various part of the country. Though we have special provisions for minorities or SC/ST atrocities in our Constitution.
    For instance: Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth. Inequalities are something that can never be abolished; it can only be made less by the executive body, or it can be struck down by the judiciary.

    We are now entering into our 71st year as Republic; we must ask: Do we know the fundamentals of our Constitution? And the answer to this question lies in the Anti-CAA protests going in our country.

    As a wave of Anti-CAA protests and gatherings melts and moves beyond the nation today; the popularity of the Preamble of the Constitution as a tool of protest has revived. The government has failed to win people’s hearts; and when the matter is submitted under the Honourable Supreme Court of India; the judiciary being a protector of constitutional rights has failed to do so and they are just continuously delaying the matter.

    A.P Shah, former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court in an interview with ‘The Wire’ said that; “The Supreme Court has abdicated its duty to defend civil rights; and is behaving like an executive court that defends the government”. These kinds of events raise questions on the judiciary, and puts judiciary under doubt; so now the matter of concern is that the Indian judiciary is independent? These all shows that we are lacking in keeping the constitutional promises.

    4G Restoration

    The Internet is not only a source of entertainment now; but it has also expanded to reach millions of students in India to educate them. The recent decision of the Supreme Court; in a case challenging the restriction on mobile internet speed in Jammu and Kashmir shows the bias nature of the judiciary. The honorable bench in this case neither decided the restriction to be unconstitutional nor granted any remedy. Instead, it referred the matter to a three-member special committee under the central government.

    However, the decision of the Supreme Court is deeply uncertain for two major reasons:

    Firstly, this decision indicates to the judicial renunciation of responsibility. Indeed, Article 32 of the Constitution which “guarantees” the right to approach the Supreme Court; to seek relief the infringement of fundamental rights; forbids the Supreme Court from abdicating in this manner. In the words of Patanjali Sastri J., the court should regard itself “as the protector and guarantor of fundamental rights,” and should declare; that “it cannot, consistently with the responsibility laid upon it; refuse to entertain applications seeking protection against infringements of such rights.”  

    Therefore the constitution does not grant the Supreme Court with the power to abandon in favor of any committee no matter how special the case is.

    Second, the decision to pass this matter to a “Special Committee” gives excess power to the executive; and it makes the executive a judge in its own cause. Therefore, this renunciation by the Court ultimately concedes the principle of checks; and balances by directing the executive to review its own orders. 

    Migrant Workers: Hopeless & Helpless 

    During these tough times of epidemic, where the whole country is under lockdown; and enjoying this time with their families, working from home, enjoying on Netflix, etc. On the other hand, migrant workers are facing a lot of problems to survive a single day to live. They do not have basic essentials to carry out their lifestyle; they all are out on the road without food, money, and job. The Indian government had declared the Janta Curfew, on 22nd March 2020; which was a one-day lockdown to prevent Coronavirus. Than this lockdown was abruptly extended for 21 days without giving any earlier information; to all those workers working in factories or vendors who had their own shop. All these workers have very little money of saving or no saving; due to less or no money, they are forced to abandon their place and move their native villages. 

    Unplanned key decisions

    Then the game of lockdown has started and an extra 21 days lockdown was announced throughout the country. Workers had started to migrate from the place they were working and with no means of transport; i.e. no train, no bus, no plane, nothing. They only had one thing with the hope that one day; they will be going to reach their home and everything will change. But the journey is not going to be an easy one; they faced so many obstacles some died in their way home; some were killed on the railway tracks, some died because they had no food.

    So it came to notice that several activists and lawyers have approached the Supreme Court over that past few weeks; urging it to help the migrant workers. They expected the court to act as the savior of the humanity of the rights of migrant workers. But all the efforts were got unsuccessful poorly; and in a broad sense, the Supreme Court trusted the submissions of government; and did nothing to protect the rights of migrant workers.

    Conclusion

    It was seen in many past experiences also; other than the three discussed above; that how citizens have been bereaved of their rights granted in the Constitution of India. Apart from the judiciary, the executive also has some duties concerning the citizens of the country.  Any country will be devastated in the absence of proper and unbiased support of his judiciary. As because this vicious circle of selfish thinking, will one day destroy them themselves.

    This article on Unrealized Constitutional Promises – Realities after 70 Years of Independence; is written by Anubhav Yadav, Campus Ambassador at Legal Thirst. He is a 2nd year Law student at BA LLB(Hons.) in B.B.D. University, Lucknow.


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