Q.1) Recently cabinet has raised custom duty on imports of non-essential goods. Should countries regulate imports ?
Answer: The government has raised customs duty on import of 19 items.
Need for regulating imports:
- Bridging current account deficit (CAD).
- Save the currency from incessant falling.
- Helps in arresting the capital outflows.
- The highest number of items on the list belongs to the electronics category, which makes up the third-biggest chunk of the import bill. Import regulations also help in fuelling domestic electronics manufacturing industry.
- This will help reduce jewellery made outside India and support domestic jewellers.
- Under the norms of the World Trade Organization, we have the right to use tariffs as long as they are under the fixed bound rates.
Q.2) Describe the instruments of direct democracy and differentiate them from indirect democracy. Discuss the doctrine of popular sovereignty as embodied in the Preamble of India.
Answer: Democracy is of two types—direct and indirect.
In direct democracy, the people exercise their supreme power directly Eg., Switzerland.
There are four devices of direct democracy, namely, Referendum, Initiative, Recall and Plebiscite.
In indirect democracy the representatives elected by people exercise the supreme power and carry on the government and make the laws. This type of democracy is also known as representative democracy and is of two kinds—parliamentary and presidential.
The Indian Constitution provides for representative parliamentary democracy under which the executive is responsible to the legislature for all its policies and actions.
Doctrine of popular sovereignty – Preamble
The Preamble to the Constitution of India contains the idea of popular sovereignty. It begins with the phrase, “WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA …” and ends with the phrase, “…HEREBY ADOPT, ENACT, AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.”
The concept of popular sovereignty regards people as the source of all authority in the state. All organs of the government, whether it is the executive, the legislature or the judiciary, derive their power and authority from the will of the people taken as a whole.
Q.3) The 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act is known as Mini-Constitution of India. Comment. Also discuss how the 44th Constitutional Amendment Act nullified various provisions of 42nd amendment and restored the democratic nature of India’s polity..
Answer: 42nd Constitutional amendment brought about the most widespread changes to the Constitution and is called a “mini-Constitution”. The amendment bring about changes in the following provisions of the constitution:
- Preamble : Added three new words (i.e., socialist, secular and integrity) in the Preamble.
- Added Fundamental Duties by the citizens (new Part IV A)
- Four Directive Principles were added by 42nd amendment as follows:
a) To secure opportunities for healthy development of children (Article 39)
b) To promote equal justice and to provide free legal aid to the poor (Article 39 A)
c) To take steps to secure the participation of workers in the management of industries (Article 43 A)
d) To protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife (Article 48 A).
- Made the president bound by the advise of the cabinet.
- Made the constitutional amendments beyond judicial scrutiny.
- Curtailed the power of judicial review and writ jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and high courts.
- Raised the tenure of Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies from 5 to 6 years.
- Provided that the laws made for the implementation of Directive Principles cannot be declared invalid by the courts in the ground of violation of some Fundamental Rights.
- Provided for the creation of the All – India Judicial Service.
44th amendment nullifying 42nd amendment:
- Constitutional protection to publication in newspaper of the proceedings of the Parliament and State Legislatures.
- The President may only once send advice of the Cabinet for reconsideration.
- Restoration of some powers of the Supreme Court.
- Fundamental Rights Guaranteed by Articles 20 and 21 cannot be suspended during a national emergency.
- The Right to Property was deleted from the list of fundamental right. It is now only a legal right under the Constitution.
- Deletion of the Right to Property from the list of fundamental rights and making it only a constitutional right.
Q.4) Discuss how the relationship between fundamental rights and Directive Principles has evolved in the Indian Constitution along with the Supreme Court observations.
Answer: The justiciability of FRs and non-justiciability of DPSPs and the moral obligation of State to implement DPSP have led to a conflict between the two since the commencement of the Constitution.
- Champakam Dorairajan case (1951) – SC ruled that in case of any conflict between the FRs and the DPSPs, the former would prevail. It declared that the DPSPs have to conform to and run as subsidiary to the FRs. It also held that the Fundamental Rights could be amended by the Parliament by enacting constitutional amendments acts.
- Golaknath case (1967) – SC ruled that the Parliament cannot take away or abridge any of the Fundamental Rights, which are ‘sacrosanct’ in nature. Court held that the FRs cannot be amended for the implementation of the Directive Principles.
- The Parliament enacted the 24th Amendment Act (1971) and the 25th Amendment Act (1971). The 24th Amendment Act declared that the Parliament has the power to abridge or take away any of the FRs by enacting Constitutional Amendment Acts. The 25th Amendment Act inserted a new Article 31C.
- Kesavananda Bharati case (1973) – SC declared the second provision of Article 31C as unconstitutional and invalid on the ground that judicial review is a basic feature of the Constitution and hence, cannot be taken away.
- 42nd AA, 1976 – It extended the scope of the first provision of Article 31C by including within its protection any law to implement any of the Directive Principles and not merely those specified in Article 39 (b) and (c).
- Minerva Mills Case, 1980- This extension was declared as unconstitutional and invalid by the SC. DPSP were once again made subordinate to the FRs. But the FRs conferred by Article 14 and Article 19 were accepted as subordinate to the DPSPs specified in Article 39 (b) and (c).
- 44th AA, 1978 – Article 31 (right to property) was abolished.
Indian Constitution is founded on the bedrock of the balance between the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles. They together constitute the core of commitment to social revolution. The present position is that FRs enjoy supremacy over the DPSPs. This does not mean that the Directive Principles cannot be implemented. The Parliament can amend the Fundamental Rights for implementing the Directive Principles, so long as the amendment does not damage or destroy the basic structure of the Constitution.