Friday, January 12, 2007

9th Schedule Erupts Again

9th Schedule is again poised to become the reason for flash between Parliament and judiciary. 9th schedule came into existence to solve the conflict between development needs of an aspiring State like India & the fundamental rights which were of paramount importance if India desired to be a welfare state. The laws placed in 9th schedule were accorded immunity from Judicial Review (through which Indian judiciary could strike down any law or act that infringed the Basic structure of constitution).

But in India any practice which starts with a good intention, eventually spirals down into a bad habit. So was happened with 9th schedule also. 9th schedule later on became a place to hide many of the acts which in effect served petty political purposes of the parties.

Now Supreme Court, which is being more and more assertive lately, has given a landmark judgment, in which, constitutional bench of Supreme Court has ruled that the laws included in 9th schedule are open to judicial review if they violate the basic structure of constitution. Basic Structure of constitution has never been defined clearly. But the structure includes secular nature of constitution, democracy, federal set up and so on if we go by various judgments given by Supreme Court.

This judgment of Supreme Court will open a Pandora's Box. Now Indian parliament doesn't have 9th schedule to hide behind from judicial scrutiny. In this case, parliament has two options: Follow Supreme Court's dictum or amend the constitution. Looking at the history, second seems more likely.


reason said...

The SC verdict says amendments are subject to judicial review too, to be tested on the touchstone of basic structure.

Among the national parties, other than CPI (which is not much national other than on paper), others haven't said anything against this verdict.

captsubh said...

9th schedule erupts again!
The supreme court deliberated at length on all aspects of the 9th schedule,which was being misused for the partisan narrow interests of political parties rather than in national interest & gave a much overdue welcome judgement that laws included under the veil of 9th schedule are open to judicial review.
The supreme court is SUPREME & is the only institution,which is zealously trying to safeguard citizen' & national interests in the face of onslaught of dirty politics.It must be hailed for its uprightness!
Subhash Bhate