1. The Indian Constitution provides for a scheme of checks and balances between the three organs of government namely, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, against any potential abuse of power. Substantiate by taking examples.
According to Montesquieu: “Miserable indeed would be the case, were the same man or the same body, whether of the nobles or of the people, to exercise those three powers, that of enacting powers, that of executing the public resolutions and that of judging the crimes or differences of individuals.” The three main institutions of the State have been given clear and distinct power. Legislative, Executive and Judiciary keep a check on each other thereby maintaining balance and ensuring smooth functioning of democracy. Many provisions including Article 50 (which provides for separation of executive from judiciary) and others helps maintain the system of checks and balance.
Checks on legislature:
The legislature has to work within the basic structure of the constitution.
Article 13 of Indian Constitution has provision of Judicial review whereby the judiciary can examine the constitutional validity of any act/ordinance/regulations that are passed by the legislature. Laws can be declared ultra-vires if they violate the principles of the constitution.
The legislatures also have to work within the rules and regulations of the Parliamentary norms.
The executive also sets the agenda, dates for calling the assembly, what bills to be put up to keep a check on the legislature
Executive may direct the President to dissolve Lok Saba.
Through right to constitutional remedies under Articles 32 and 226, public can ensure that the judiciary keeps a check on legislative powers.
The law implementing organ is kept in check through parliamentary process like zero-hour, question hour, adjournment motion, censure motion, no confidence motion (under Article 75) and parliamentary committees.
By the means of writs by the judiciary and use of judicial review of the laws passed and implemented by the executive, the judiciary keeps a check on then executive.
Under Article 142 the judiciary can direct the executive to take actions meant for public welfare.
Executive actions such as Emergency, declaring Presidents rule in a state etc. needs approval by the Parliament after its declaration.
Ordinance created by the executive needs approval of legislature in 6 months to it remain valid.
Financial accountability is ensured through CAG reports
Ban against cattle slaughter stayed by SC.
Land oridnance not approved by parliament.
Checks on judiciary:
The power to remove a judge through impeachment lies with the Parliament.
Parliament has the power to determine the number of judges in the judiciary.
The President, head of the executive, appoints judges.
Parliament may enact laws that can nullify orders of judges if they come under the category of judicial overreach
But some instance of our political system undermines this check and balance:
Re-promulgation of ordinances by the executive undermines the legislature as highlighted by the SC in D C Wadhwa case.
Judicial overreach has at times blurred the distinction between executive and judiciary on certain occasions.
The overlap between executive and legislature in case of ministers weaken the checks and balance to some extent.
The checks and balances envisaged in our constitution has function quite well so far. The provisions though not water tight gives some flexibility in the system suited for Indian requirements. Nevertheless, the misuse of such flexibility needs to be arrested to strengthen the checks and balance and thus upholding the spirit of our democracy.
2. Why having an alternative dispute resolution mechanism imperative for the Indian legal scenario? Discuss. Can you identify the existing alternative institutional arrangements for dispute resolution? Also discuss their merits and limitations.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms act as a means for parties to come to an agreement, to avoid litigation. Dispute resolution mechanisms provide an alternative to the conventional legal process of resolving disputes through mediation, arbitration and without needing the courts to give judgment in this process.
ADR mechanisms are imperative for the Indian legal scenario as:-
There is a huge pendency of cases in the courts and the Indian judiciary is overworked.
They fulfill the provision of free legal aid under Article 39A of the constitution.
there is acute shortage of judges in all levels of judiciary.
ADR mechanisms save both time as well as money.
Consensus among the parties is foremost in this process. Thus, it prevents further litigations.
there is shortage of judges who are specially qualified for handling disputes which are coming up with the ever changing business and technology scenario
Justice Malimath Committee Report (1989-90) underlined the need for ADR mechanisms such as:-
Arbitration:- It consists of hearing and determining of a dispute between parties by persons chosen by them.
Conciliation:- It is the process of facilitating amicable settlement between parties. It can’t be forced on a party not intending for conciliation.
Mediation:- It is devised to assist disputants in reaching an agreement on their terms and conditions in arriving at a settlement.
Some ADR mechanisms present in India are,
Lok Adalats brought about by the National Services Authorities Act 1987 which provides settlement of disputes through arbitration, counseling and mediation so that the disputing parties need not go to the courts for judgment.
Gram Panchyats through Gram Nyalayas at village level provide dispute resolution of small , petty cases by panchayat decision for quick and early resolution of small cases.
The enactment of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act has set up coming upto to dispute resolution through arbitration and conciliation so that matters can be settled amicably outside the courts.
Mahila Panchayats have also been setup to check the cases of atrocities against women.
Some merits of using ADR mechanisms are:-
Multi-party disputes can be taken up easily.
Likelihood and speed of settlements at a lower cost.
The parties control the process while arriving at a settlement.
The solution is very practical and can be devised for a wider range of issues, while protecting the interests of both the parties.
However, ADR mechanisms can’t be used where:-
There is a power imbalance in the parties involved.
There is a substantial question of law and a court order or enforcement is crucial.
The allegation is of a quasi-criminal matter which requires interpretation of evidential rules.
The complexity in the case is of a high order.
However, the importance of ADR mechanisms can’t be undermined in a high litigation load country like India and they serve as a viable alternative to conventional courts. This ADR process is step in the right direction to reduce the burden on the judiciary and proper development of ADR process will help give a good business and social environment in India.
3. The way in which the architecture of our Constitution was conceived, the Council of States was envisioned as the House of federal bicameralism and not a simple bicameral Legislature. Elucidate.
Dr. B R Ambedkar believed that the Rajya Sabha would serve the larger purpose of being a instrument of federalism rather than being just a revising house.
RS as a house of federal bicameralism:
Representation of States- The members of RS are elected by the members of legislative assembly of each state. Seats are distibuted in proportion to the population of each state.
Article 249 of the constitution permits the Parliament to make law on state subject in national interest. Thus RS ensures that Centre doesn’t ensures in the State jurisprudence.
Under Article 312 RS can pass a resolution for creation of a new All India Service.
Permanent nature of the house helps maintain continuum.
State legislatures by nominating their representatives ensure protection of their interests against the unitary centre. Eg. In case of GST, Rajya Sabh played a key role in highlighting the concerns of states.
The land acquisition bill’s failure to garner support in the Rajya Sabha reflected the lack of support from states for the legislation
The role of Rajya Sabha in its pure form is getting diluted as:
Members elected to the Rajya Sabha often use coercion, muscle and money power to get elected.
Parking of defeated politicians in RS.
Doing away with domicile requirement for election.
It has become a battleground to blindly oppose the ruling government’s policies since it lacks majority
Equal representation of states irrespective of population, as recommended by Punchhi commission.
Proper scrutiny through parliamentary committees before a bill is to be declared a money bill
Despite the initial concerns of the drafting committee, the Rajya Sabha has lived up to its role of protector of states and a symbol federal bicameralism but recent events such as bribing of legislators for votes has put a question mark over its credibility. RS should be continued as a house of debate, discussion and deliberation policy equal role with Lok Sabha and maintain the federal character of constitution. Rising above party politics and realizing the spirit of institution is the need of the hour.
Green tea is a type of tea that get its name from the green color unprocessed and unfermented tea leaves are brewed. The differences between green and black tea are,
1) Green tea is unprocessed and unfermented, whereas as latter is giving it a colour and flavour transformation.
2) Green tea is grown at higher altitudes than black tea.
3) Factors such as climate and soil can also be reason for some of the differences.
Some Potential Side Effects of Green Tea
Tea and tea extract contain caffeine. Caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, upset stomach, nausea or frequent urination in some people.
In extremely high doses, caffeine can raise blood pressure, cause seizures, delirium, or irregular heart rhythms.
In addition, people with Heart problems and Kidney disorders should not consume green tea.
However, unlike black tea it is higher value product thus gaining higher income for its growers. This can help Indian farmers to gain much better market prices.
Tea is one of the most popular beverages across the globe. The awareness about health benefits of green tea has increases its demand in recent times. The government should take efforts to promote increase in its production and consumption.
5. The disaster preparedness for floods in India is in dire need of an overhaul. Do you agree? Substantiate in the light of the ongoing devastations being caused by floods across India.
The WaterResourcesInstitute(WRI) report ranks India as the mostfloodprone country in the world with as much as 4crorehectares and 4.84millionpeople prone to flood which calls in for an alert and robust flood monitoring system.
Presence of Centre water commission (CWC) established in 1945,Brahmaputra board, Ganga flood control authority , Farraka barrage authority were formulated to control floods within their jurisdiction the NDMA was established to provide a holistic, coordinated response for prevention and mitigation of floods.
The recent occurrence of floods repeatedly earlier in Chennai and recently in Gujarat and Assam due to culmination of effects of climate change and anthropogenic activities is an indication that the entire mechanism for flood preparedness needs a major overhaul at both policy, infrastructure and implementation level by the authorities and the public in particular.
The absence of flood control in any of the three lists in the Constitution is a major flaw which does not assign the responsibility to neither state nor centre leading to confusion and shirking of responsibility there is an urgent need to add it to concurrent list.
Interlinking of rivers
Interlinking is one of the alternatives and has been deliberated by many scientists. It was found very useful. Social scientists have also approved of it even the SC has asked the centre to consider it at the earliest.
National Disaster Response Force is deployed pro-actively where the floods are anticipated. The national force and state forces have enough experience in handling such kind of disasters.
The national, state and local government machinery is coordinating with each other to tackle the flood situation.
People have been taken to safer places, relief camps have been started in few places, necessary troops and relief personnel have been deployed etc.
This is a good example of synchronisation between national, state and local government along with engagement of the local people in terms of addressing the current need of relief management.
The national government has decentralised the financial operation of the relief.
70-75% of the disbursement takes place at the state level.
Long term steps
India needs to take information at a regular basis from the neighbouring countries- China for Brahmaputra and Nepal for Kosi. They are also flood affected countries and flood at upper catchment is gliding down to lower catchment, i.e. India.
GoI has signed an agreement with these countries. India needs to relook such agreements so that flood situations can be avoided.
Necessary to revisit the disaster management approach to make drought and flood management more holistic in nature. The districts or states have surplus water but do not have the capacity to absorb and store the water. Sometimes, even the same state, district and talukas are simultaneously affected by flood and drought.
Watershed management, rejuvenating the pond etc. are development initiatives which have to be rigorously implemented.
Forming a de-siltation plan: The river is one of the important ingredients when it comes to drainage. The de-siltation plan is very expensive but it is needed.
Idea is that a holistic plan should engage all the development partners. It should try to address all the issues and modify it as per local needs.
Following the scientific approach
Managing floods requires a sound understanding of the patterns that rivers such as the Ganga and its tributaries display during the monsoon.
Governmental understanding of the problem generally relies more on ground-level surveys and anecdotal reporting than advanced techniques such as mapping based on satellite imagery and Geographic Information Systems.
There should be a siltmanagementpolicy.
Floodplainzoning is a must to be included in all stages of preparedness and also need to educate people at the local levels.
The SendaiFrameworkfordisasterriskreduction(2015-2030) must be implemented completely involving adopting integrated and inclusive institutional measures so as to work towards preventing vulnerability to disaster, increase preparedness for response and recovery and strengthen resilience by inclusion of private sector and local population to prevent such mishaps in the future.