Date:14 th april 2019
|· TOPICS: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.
· Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.(paper2)
- “While implementing model code of conduct, Election commission seems a toothless Constitutional body” Comment.
Articles 324 of the Indian Constitution provide that the Election Commission of India with the power of the superintendent, direction and control of conducting of the election of president, vice president parliament and state legislature. He is appointed by the president under his warrant and hand.
The Constitutional and other statutory powers given to the election commission:
The constitution has ensured the security of the tenure of the Chief Election Commission which is 6 year or until they attain the age of 65 years old, whichever is earlier. But it is not as per for other to election Commissioner.
Is it a toothless body?
Under the Constitution, the Commission also has advisory jurisdiction in the matter of post-election disqualification of sitting members of Parliament and State Legislatures. Further, the cases of persons found guilty of corrupt practices at elections which come before the Supreme Court and High Courts are also referred to the Commission for its opinion on the question as to whether such person shall be disqualified and, if so, for what period. The opinion of the Commission in all such matters is binding on the President or, as the case may be, the Governor to whom such opinion is tendered.
The Commission has the power to disqualify a candidate who has failed to lodge an account of his election expenses within the time and in the manner prescribed by law. The Commission has also the power for removing or reducing the period of such disqualification as also other disqualification under the law.
Under the delimitation act, the election commission has the power to delimit the constituencies which cannot be questioned in any Court of law.
Constitutional flaws which hamper its power:
There is no qualification criteria mentioned in the constitution is also there is no collegium system to appoint election commissioners.
The budget of Expenditure is not charged on the consolidated fund of India. Although election expenditure is borne by central Government and state government for the election of Parliament and legislative assembly respectively but for the capital expenditure it has to depend entirely upon finance ministry.
It was after the pressure from the Supreme Court fund for the implementation of VVPAT machine in all EVMs of the country was allotted by Finance ministry.
The biggest challenge of the election commissioner of the question of the power of election commission is raised in its inefficiency in the enforcement of the model code of conduct.
In recent elections of parliament, the political parties try to polarize the voters in the name of religion and caste also using the sexiest and the misogyny term which not only deteriorate the modesty of women but also persuade her to leave the field.
Why the election commissioner Seem toothless?
The power and the function of election commission are to be entrusted by the parliament i.e. legislature. They always leave loopholes while providing authority to the election commissioner.
Given the vastness of the election in India in terms of the number of candidate, constituencies’ polling stations, it is tough for the election commission to have a check over the corrupt practices in the election, but the high presence of the social media and electronic media have made it possible for the election Commission to have a vigil over election in India.
The election commission has also launched e VIGIL app to have an eye over the elections.
- Over the time, it is the Judiciary which has to come at front in ensuring the power to the election commission.as in case of 17th Lok Sabha election, the Election Commission has temporary banned some politicians from campaigning on the account of the failure of implementing model code of conduct.
- In order to make it more powerful, the election commission must be empowered to de- register the candidates who is found to be violating the model code of conduct by amending the RPA Act 1951.
- Model Code of conduct should be given statutory backing with the Fast Track Court totally dedicated to it.
- There should be a Collegiums system for the appointment of chief commissioner and the other Election Commissioner.
- This should be the debarred from holding any governmental post after retirement.
SOURCE:THE HINDU ,THE LIVE MINT
|TOPICS: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies(Paper 2)|
Explain the relevance of lateral entry into the UPSC for development of India?
Recently nine professional from the various field has joined the Administrative Service directly after undergoing interview process by the UPSC. It is held as one of the biggest reform in the Administrative Service. They have been directly recruited to the post of secretary, a dream spot for all civil servants.
The objective, as lauded by the NITI Aayog, is to bring highly efficient professional and specialist for giving trust to the bureaucratic system which is alleged to be caught in the web of red tapism.
The History of the lateral entry into the civil services:
- About a decade ago, administrative Reform Commission (ARC) has recommended for the lateral entry.
- 7th pay commission has also iterated for the same but it has always been sidelined by the bureaucracy.
- It is obvious that the bureaucrats would never want its autonomy to be tempered by the outsider.
- All the selected applicants have been expert in their own field. If to name a few, Kakoli Ghosh has worked in to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) and appointed as the secretary into the Agriculture Department.
- They are recruited for the maximum of 5 years and their salary and other perks are equivalent to the other officials of the same line.
- Environmental, forest, energy, climate change, science & tech, are the dynamic department which requires a vibrant, innovative with expertise.
How far is it justified?
Undoubtedly the Civil servants have to undergo three stage processes for cracking one of the toughest exams of the world.
They work hard and have an ample of traditional knowledge in the field of history, geography, science, etc. But they are still far behind the expertise knowledge in the innovation and the research which is need of the hour.
It generally takes 20 years for civil servants to be elevated to the secretary. Through this time, they have served into the many departments as civil servants on the other hand, lateral entrants, devoted their entire career to a specific field and thus they get expertise in it.
In many country like the England and Germany, it has started four decades ago which has contributed to the development of this country.
It is not the first time that direct recruitment of the civil servants is done. Earlier Montek Singh Ahluwalia who was directly appointed as Finance Secretary, Nandan NilKarni was appointed as the secretary in the Information and Technology department who has revolutionized with the idea of Aadhar card.
It is indication for the traditional civil servants that if you want to remain in the field, they have to accommodate themselves with the latest technology and innovation which is the need of the hour. The process of lateral entry should be fair & transparent and above the ideology and the regionalism so that it could serve its purpose.
SOURCE: THE EXPRESS
15 april 2019
|TOPICS: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability (paper 2)|
Should the political party be included into the RTI Act? Comment.
The RTI Act 2005 was enacted to bring transparency responsibility and accountability to all the public funded institutions except judiciary. The formulator of the act that is legislative have shielded itself from the Ambit of the act.
Why the need to be included into the act?
- According to the association of Democratic reforms (ADR) report, about 75% of the fund of the political party comes through the unknown sources.
- The expenditure in elections is more than 1000 times of what they show to the election commissioner and around 20 times the prescribed upper limit in RPA act, 1951.
- One school of thought bat for exclusion of political party on the ground that it is not directly funded by the government.
- Indirect subsidy provided to them in the form of free electoral roll, bungalows in the metropolitan cities, air spacing on the government television, redemption of the income tax etc amount to the core of rupees which is the public money.
- Up till now the political parties cannot be asked for fielding the criminal and corrupt candidate.
- They cannot be questioned on the ground of the inner party democracy.
The central information commission in 2013 has issued a notification for the inclusion of political party under the RTI Act but the political party has deferred themselves from the inclusion. Supreme Court has also questions exclusion of political party from the Ambit of the act.
The RTI is very balanced act. It follows the doctrine of eclipse for those parts of the act which public exposure may harm the national interest. For example the Defense Ministry and the Home Ministry comes under the RTI Act but the expenditure on the Intelligence Agency is out of the impact of the RTI Act.
The same can be followed in terms of the political parties. Their political strategy and some other provisions can be kept out of the Ambit of the act.
Political parties or the concerned government that talked about the transparency, accountability and corruption free governance must give message to the public of being transparent and accountable by inculcating themselves into the RTI Act.
|Topics : Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.
Has the provision of judicial activism bridged the gap between the parliamentary democracy and the constitutional rights or it has become the judicial overreach? Comment.
The term Judicial review or judicial activism is nowhere mentioned in the constitution. But the term has evolved from interpretation of article 13 article 32 articles 226 of the constitution which empower the Supreme Court and high court respectively to issue writs against the infringement of the constitutional rights.
Judicial activism vis-à-vis parliamentary democracy and the constitutional rights:
- Unlike the British Parliament, the Indian parliament is not the sovereign and unlike the in American judiciary the Judiciary of India is not sacrosanct.
- The Framer of Indian constitution has followed a middle path between the sovereignty of Parliament and the Ambit of judiciary.
- 50 also state for the separation of power between the executive, legislative and judiciary.
- The provision of PIL that is Public Interest Litigation and the landmark judgment of the Kesavananda Bharati case in 1973 which introduced the basic structure of the Indian Constitution have enlarged the scope of the Judicial review & judicial activism.
- Over the time the Supreme Court has interpreted the constitution and stated that the act should be followed in spirit not only in words.
- The term judicial review or the judicial overreach always comes into the picture when the legislature and executive fail to fulfill the aspirations of the mass.
- The primacy of the fundamental rights, environmental protection, and climate change etc. over development project has enlarged the scope of the judicial review and judicial activism.
- The CAMPA fund has been established after the repetitive direction from the Supreme Court. The Ban of the diesel older than 10 years old in the New Delhi is another example of the judicial activism.
- Sometimes the parliament or the state legislative assembly do not frame a law against the social evils owning to either the vote politics or they do not want to change the fabric of the society. Judiciaries have to intervene into it.
- This it can be substantiated with Sabarimala temple verdict, ban on the Jallikattu, SC/ ST act etc.
Judicial activism versus judicial overreach.
The line between judicial activism and Judicial Overreach is very narrow. In simple terms, when judicial activism crosses its limits and becomes judicial adventurism it is known as Judicial Overreach. When the judiciary oversteps the powers given to it, it may interfere with the proper functioning of the legislative or executive organs of government.
The power of Judicial Overreach comes from nowhere. This is undesirable in any democracy. Judicial Overreach destroys the spirit of separation of powers. What makes any action activism or overreach is based upon the perspective of individuals. But in general, striking down of NJAC bill and the 99th constitutional amendment, the order passed by the Allahabad High Court making it compulsory for all Bureaucrats to send their children to government school, misuse the power to punish for contempt of court etc. are considered as Judicial Overreach.
Source: the diplomat