Edit & Opinion

Un-written blank pages of Constitution

Required provisions missing in the Indian constitution

Constitution Day (National Law Day), also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated in India on 26 November every year to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India on 26 November 1949. On the day let us commemorate it by concentrating on the facts emerged by the microscopic research of the Indian constitution. It facilitates politicians more than to general populace. The constitutional remedies available to citizens never fall easily in the lap but through the route of apex court whereas all the provisions facilitating the politicians do not fall for court scrutiny. It is the constitution that has made parliament a mixed bag of illiterates, criminals, and defeated representatives, selected and appointed fraternity. No doubt there are surely good parts in the constitution based on the classical liberal philosophy of freedom, but it is lacking some vital provisions that go in favor of the politicians. Whether these were left intentionally or accidentally is a matter of debate? Whatsoever may be the reason but these falls in the kitty of the politicians otherwise their inclusion would have provided real face to the parliamentary democracy of the country. The most required but un-written provisions, that facilitate politicians, we can elaborate as under:

Lack of qualification bar: An illiterate can not apply for a job of even fourth class but no qualification bar imposed in Constitution thereby an illiterate can contest as MP or MLA. On being elected make law for the most literate community of the country. What an irony that a law framed by participation and impression of such MP or MLA is reviewed by the apex court of the country. How an illiterate was considered quite suitable by constitution framers to run a country under Constitutional provisions, when he is not in a position to read and write. Is the Constitution has not facilitated the politicians?

Lack of provision to debar criminals from contesting elections: It is a sordid affair in our country, well protected by the constitution, that a person applying for a job of fourth class, should not be guilty of any crime whereas a person guilty of any crime can fight elections from the jail for a constitutional status.

Lack of provision to curtail participation of those having muscle and money power: The constitution is toothless for those having muscle and money power in contesting and winning elections. This way the elections never remain fair and fearless exercise and illiterate and innocent voters fall into their traps.

Lack of provision to debar entry of defeated MPs and MLAs into Government: The constitution lacks provision, to desist the defeated contestants in direct election, to be inducted in government formation through backdoor entry by the channel of their induction in Rajya Sabha and State legislative councils.

Lack of provision to call back nonperforming and underperforming representatives: The Constitution authorizes elected one to remain unbridled for the full tenure with no provision to call them back or take them to task for their non-performance/under-performance. Whereas a government employee of marginal post can be tasked by way of suspension, removal, dismissal, with holding/stoppage of salaries. We have Representation of Peoples Act 1951 (RPA Act 1951) that provides for the actual conduct of elections in India but we don’t find any provision in this act also as to get rid of under-performing/non-performing representative before the term ends.

The voters are deprived of the provision as enshrined in section 16 of the General Clause Act, 1897 that provides power to make the appointment and to suspend or dismiss any person appointed. But here voters have only power to elect a representative and then electors have to dance to the tunes of elected one for the full tenure.

We notice the process of facilitating and crowning of the defeated candidates. When we view this aspect with reference to most cherished book ‘Constitution’, it pains us as there is no any stipulation or binding on political parties to restrict those, straight away rejected by the voters in election process, to be part of the government by offering them ministries and other constitutional posts and allowing them to be part of law machinery responsible for making laws for the common man. Constitution is blind towards this sort of disrespect and dishonor to the true spirit of democracy and powers of voters that stand eroded and kicked out by the political parties, and is straight away contempt of voters will. It has remained history of Indian Parliament and that of state assemblies too across the country indulging in the same trickery game. This way, when defeated and rejected lot by the public opinion is super imposed upon those rejecting them; it leaves the democratically elected governments’ not in pure form but adulteration of elected and selected representatives. The selected representatives are not the choice of the people but stooges or benefactors of the political parties and our constitution is just a silent spectator.

Concluding with assumption that it is not possible to make the electoral system fool proof and bringing electoral reforms not an easy task, as hitting provisions to improve the face of democracy will never be tolerable to the political parties as it will put a heavy dent on their weird trickery of politics. It is the citizens and civil society which have to work vigorously towards this goal in order to force  the Government to rewrite the blank pages of the constitution under sub-heading ‘Limitations’ after article 324 incorporating the short comings, in making this country a real democracy, by inserting sub clauses of qualification bar, blanket ban on contesting elections having criminal record (brushing aside the much claim and shelter always sought by politicians as political vendetta) recalling and repressive measures for non-performing/under-performing representatives, declaring elections won on muscle/money power as null and void and non inclusion of defeated contestants in direct elections in government formation, ban the defeated contestants in direct elections, to be nominated or elected to the ‘Rajaya Sabha’ ‘Legislative councils’. Public try to look at leaders for their trust but every leader has broken their trust and it’s keeping on and on and has no end, it seems now, which has gone beyond recovery.

 

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