What Did Bibek Debroy Say About The Constitution?

Economist Bibek Debroy, who is also a Sanskritologist and Indologist, has landed in hot water over his recent article in The Mint newspaper in which he made a case out for a new Constitution of India.

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM),of which he is chairman, has quickly sought to distance itself and the government from Dr Debroy’s views; he has also made clear in the article that these were his personal views.

But was it just Dr Debroy’s personal opinion?

Or was he conducting a reconnaissance mission for the powers that be who would like to usher in a new Constitution if they regain power in 2024?

10 points from Dr Debroy’s case for a new Constitution in The Mint newspaper:

  • We no longer possess the one we inherited in 1950. It has been amended, not always for the better, though since 1973 we have been told its ‘Basic Structure’ cannot be altered, irrespective of what democracy desires through Parliament; whether there is a violation will be interpreted by courts.
  • Our current Constitution is largely based on the Government of India Act.
  • What about the Seventh Schedule and local bodies? If development is correlated with urbanisation, why have we set up these rural-urban silos, exemplified in the 73rd and 74th Amendments?
  • The broader aspects of addressing a backlog have been discussed ad nauseam. But what’s the Supreme Court’s role and how much supervisory control does it have over high courts? Little, if we go by the Constitution.
  • There are Articles in the Constitution that impede executive efficiency, at least for all-India services.
  • Should one subject specific geographical areas to special laws, thereby never mainstreaming them? (This isn’t only about Article 370 as there are others.)
  • If reforms are about markets and a refocused and reduced role for government, what sense do we make of the Directive Principles of State Policy?
  • As with many aspects of law reform, a tweak here and another there won’t do. We should start with first principles, as in the Constituent Assembly debates.
  • Much of what we debate begins and ends with the Constitution. A few Amendments won’t do.
  • We should go back to the drawing board and start from first principles, asking what these words in the Preamble mean now: socialist, secular, democratic, justice, liberty and equality. We The People have to give ourselves a new Constitution.

Source: Read Full Article