Author: Rajeev DhavanForeword/Introduction: Fali NarimanPublisher: RupaYear: 2008Language: EnglishPages: 319ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788129113696
Affirmative action through exclusive quotas for India’s disadvantage in public services and education has caused strikes, protests and riots in India. Parliament and the Supreme Court echoed divergent solutions resulting in dramatic clashes between Parliament and the courts. Earlier, bitter controversies between courts and Parliament in the Nehru era were over land reform (1950-67), and Mrs. Gandhi's era, it was over parliamentary sovereignty (1967-77). This book is about the third major crisis (1995-2008) over 'quota reservations' in the civil services and education. As custodians of the Constitution, the courts impose their own view of ‘equality’. As the voice of the people, Parliament claims the power to override the Constitution by constitutional amendment on quota reservations to reverse court decisions. Having fought hard for supremacy in all areas of governance, the courts are unwilling to surrender their constitutional supremacy to anybody. In turn, Parliament seems to have had no qualms in virtually sitting in appeal over the Supreme Court by using its brahma astra to amend the Constitution. The result is a constitutional drama of awkward proportions.An expose of contemporary political history, this book shows how courts retreat into compromise and political parties show an embarrassing over-commitment to win votes at all costs. If court judgments are unreadable and complex, parliamentary debates are often hilarious, unsystematic, irrelevant, amusing and boring.
Foreword by Fali NarimanPrefacePART I – INTRODUCTIONI Reserved Without Prejudice PART II– PARLIAMENT, THE SUPREME COURT AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IN INDIAII. The Promotion Amendments of 1995 Reversing the Mandal Decision of 1992 Parliament Strikes Back: The Promotion AmendmentUnderstanding the DebateIII. The Carry Forward AmendmentParliament vs. the Courts: The Mandal and Post Mandal BackgroundThe Next Salvo: The ‘Carry Forward’ ControversyParliamentary DiscussionsLok SabhaRajya SabhaIn RetrospectIV. The Accelerated Seniority DisputeOld and New ControversiesThe ‘Accelerated Seniority’ ControversyParliament Challenges the Supreme Court Lok SabhaRajya SabhaIn RetrospectV. The Efficiency of Administration AmendmentThe Efficiency of AdministrationParliament IntervenesRajya SabhaLok SabhaParliament and the AmendmentVI. The Education Amendment of 2005 Introduction The Education Controversies Parliament Confronts the IssueLok SabhaRajya SabhaParliament’s Last WordVII. Reservations and Private Educational Institutions Lok Sabha Rajya SabhaPART –III- INTO THE FUTUREVIII. The Last Decade The Spring of Hope The winter of Despair The Court’s Package Parliament’s Response Legislation and its Discontents EpilogueAnnexuresA Articles 14-18 of the ConstitutionB Article 46 of the ConstitutionC Article 338-342 of the ConstitutionD Conclusions in Indra Sawhney’s CaseEndnotesIndex