Save Our Democracy RESPECT CONSTITUTION! BY Aravind Bhatikar

All questions and no answers!
Think and act before it is too late…

By Aravind Bhatikar

PARLIAMENTARY democracy can succeed only if the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary function within their limits and with respect for the Constitution. The Central government’s misuse of the ED, the CBI and other regulatory agencies should have prompted the civil society to rush to Judiciary for help. But this has not happened. While the mainstream media seems to have been completely bought over by the Modi government, the civil society has been threatened into unprecedented silence.
In the recently held election to the post of Mayor of Chandigarh, the AAP and Congress together had 20 Councilors and the BJP 16. The presiding officer held eight I.N.D.I.A. alliance’s votes invalid. This is the first time in the history of Indian elections that 40% of the votes cast on behalf of a particular candidate were declared invalid. The manipulation of the ballot papers carried out by the presiding officer was caught on the camera and the video became instantly viral on the social media.
The Supreme Court Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud thundered that he would not allow democracy to be murdered. However, he did not issue any orders setting aside the results of the election and ordering a fresh election under a specially nominated presiding officer. An officer nominated by the Supreme Court would have ensured a free and fair election.
But Supreme Court, nowadays, is believed to be talking more and doing less! Is it unrealistic in the present political environment to expect the Supreme Court to do something concrete and effective to prevent the murder of our democracy?
Will the Supreme Court expedite procedures and give directions/ judgments within the next two months on the pending SEBI Enquiry against Adani and the issue of Constitutional validity of Electoral Bonds?
The BJP has tried to murder our Constitution and the Parliamentary Democracy several times in the recent past. The judiciary has failed, by and large, to intervene effectively to stop these murderous attacks.
A Supreme Court bench presided over by the chief justice gave a judgment that the bureaucracy in Delhi should be under the control of the elected Kejariwal government. The impudent Modi government amended an Act to negate the effect of the Supreme Court ruling and placed the bureaucracy back under the control of the Lt Governor of Delhi. The Supreme Court has not taken any steps to ensure that its interpretation of Constitutional provisions are inviolable and final.
Chief Justice Chandrachud observed, in the context of the hara kiri of election procedures in Chandigarh, that the only stabilizing factor for Indian democracy is the “purity” of the election process. The Chief Justice would surely be aware that the Act recently passed by the Modi government, to provide for the selection of election commissioners, no longer ensures this “purity.” His attempts to ensure a fair and impartial selection of election commissioners were ignored by the Modi government when the new Act provided that the selection committee would consist of the prime minister, leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and a nominee of the PM. How come the Supreme Court allowed its observations to be ignored by the Executive?
Is the Supreme Court the only hope left for civil society to ensure the continuance of a healthy parliamentary democracy in India? Why should the civil society feel so helpless? Can we not effectively use our powerful vote to defeat the Modi-Shah duo in the 2024 elections, instead of crying on the shoulders of the Supreme Court?

SAB KA NAASH, SAB KA VINAASH!
(09-02-2024)

CHIEF JUSTICE DY Chandrachud furious at the hara-kiri of the election process during the Chandigarh mayor’s election, thundered that he would not allow democracy to be murdered. He also reminded those who cared to listen, that the Supreme Court is watching.
Judiciary in India, more than any other Constitutional institution, would surely be aware that the BJP governments at the Centre and in the states have given so many deathblows that our democracy today is gasping for breath. Supreme Court may be watching! So what? Is it capable of doing anything more than just watching?
The Supreme Court today is widely believed to be conniving at or conveniently ignoring to be protecting the Modi government’s excesses. Has Chief Justice Chandrachud taken note of the perception in a section of media, especially the independent YouTube channels, that politically sensitive cases are more often than not, allotted to Justice Bela Trivedi? Justice Bela Trivedi was the law secretary in the Gujarat government when Narendra Modi was the chief minister. She later became a judge of Gujarat High Court and subsequently Rajasthan High Court before being elevated to the Supreme Court.
Omar Khalid, the well-known student leader of Jawaharlal Nehru University is languishing in jail for the last three years without trial. The case is pending in the court of Justice Bela Trivedi. She is ostensibly too busy to hear his case. When Adv Abhishekh Manu Singhvi approached the Supreme Court with a prayer to rein in the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Justice Chandrachud advised the noted senior advocate to come with specific cases.
When Hemant Soren knocked at Supreme Court’s doors, he was asked to approach the Jharkhand High Court. While Manish Sisodia is in jail without even a charge-sheet being filed for more than a year, a rape convict like Baba Ram Rahim has already been let off on parole 12 times in Haryana instead of being in jail.
In Modi’s Ram Rajya, rule of law has been consigned to history. “You show me the man, I will show you the rule” is the law today. What is happening today is nothing short of murderous attacks on democracy. Chief Justice Chandrachud has still time to revive democracy and put it back on the Indian tracks. Can we expect him to do it before it is too late?

UNKA SANKALP, VIPAREET BHARAT!
(13-2-2024)

WHYU are these things happening in our country, the largest democracy in the world? Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress, both members of India, had 20 Councilors and BJP 16 in the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh. Everybody expected the I.N.D.I.A candidate to be elected as the mayor. But the new culture in BJP’s democracy is different. The presiding officer manipulated eight ballot papers of Councilors belonging to I.N.D.I.A. and declared these ballot papers invalid. After that, he declared that the BJP candidate had won the mayor’s election.
For the first time in free India, a presiding officer defied all established procedures and declared 40% of ballot papers of AAP and Congress invalid. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court made some threatening noises, but nothing more. The illegality has not been set aside.
Wide-ranging amendments have been carried out in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and the Indian Evidence Act without any discussion in the Lok Sabha. The speaker reportedly suspended all Opposition members before the amendments were taken up for consideration. This is the first time in the history of free India that all Opposition members were suspended to avoid voting on amendments to important Acts.
The Supreme Court Chief Justice DY Chandrachud had reportedly suggested that the selection of members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) should be done by a committee consisting of Supreme Court Chief Justice, Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister ignored the suggestion of the Chief Justice. Instead, a Law was enacted to provide that the appointment committee would comprise the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha and a nominee of the Prime Minister.
This is for the first time in free India that the independence of the Central Election Commission has been effectively preempted by an Act of Parliament, by throwing out a suggestion by the Chief Justice to ensure such independence.
The new Parliament house was inaugurated by Prime Minister Modi, instead of President Droupadi Murmu. It is for the first time in free India that a prime minister has usurped the president’s prerogative, thereby reducing the stature of the office of the president and catapulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the supreme leader.
In what should have been purely a Hindu religious event, Prime Minister Modi converted the inauguration of the new Ram Mandir at Ayodhya seemingly into an official function by inaugurating the temple himself against the advice of the country’s four shankaracharya not to inaugurate an incomplete temple.
It was for the first time in free India that a prime minister effectively used his powers to turn the total focus of the nation completely on himself and nobody else.
Why is Prime Minister Narendra Modi organizing events to attack democracy and to turn the focus entirely on himself? Isn’t it obvious that these events are all planned components of a well organized march towards dictatorship? Narendra Modi must have now decided to stop beating about the bush and declare his intentions to the nation: Come what may he wants to be the prime minister for a third term so that as a dictator he can re-write the Constitution of India.
Recently, he boasted in Parliament that the BJP would win the Lok Sabha Elections with 370 seats. Why 370? Is it because 370 is more than 362, the minimum number that is required for amending the Constitution? He also made his intentions very clear when he said, “Mere teesre karyakaal mein, main bahut bada faisla lene wala hoon.” (“I am going to take a very big decision in my third term.”) The over-confidence and arrogance of Narendra Modi has reached such a level that he has rubbished the Indian voter’s powers to distinguish between political life and death.
Will the Indian voter wake up and save our democracy?

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