The writer, a former union law minister, is a senior advocate in the Supreme Court. Views expressed are his own.
Despite the initial missteps, judicial response in its entirety to the pandemic’s many challenges must gladden our hearts.
The government’s unwise resort to oppressive and selective enforcement of draconian laws fails the test of proportionality and democratic restraint. The increasing dysfunctionality of Parliament and the failure of accountability of other democratic institutions is an ominous signal.
The dignitarian Constitution’s custody is entrusted to the joint endeavours of the three branches of government, but the recent record of our liberal democracy suggests an institutional deficit in the advancement of constitutional goals.
We must interrogate the inadequacies of our system, the ruinous consequences of misplaced priorities and the misconceived remedies against hunger and hopelessness.
Most judicial pronouncements are subject to interrogation and the Ayodhya verdict involving “complexities of human history and activity” is no exception. Even so, when read in entirety, the Court’s decision — based on a “preponderance of evidence” — does answer the doubts raised by its critics.
The challenge before the government, therefore, is to win an uncoerced allegiance of the Kashmiri people by recognising their dignity and identity — the “ultimate driver of history”, as Hegel said. Whether the government can do enough to assure the Kashmiri people of its sincerity in this regard is the question.
While navigating our politics in these troubled times, we cannot forget the lesson of history that the majority vote does not guarantee freedom unless the majority stands up for freedom.
The arrest of human rights activists is a test for India’s people and its institutions
To live up to constitutional values, commitments made in international fora, India needs standalone legislation against custodial torture.
The 2G verdict asserts inviolability of procedural justice and is a triumph for principles of fair trial.
The legality of Manmohan's summoning order will be tested on the touchstones of our constitutional and criminal jurisprudence.