DailyPost 1767

Breakdown of constitutional machinery, all of us are aware and so are we aware of things unconstitutional. Even with clear cut provisions of the constitution and a very robust understanding of these articles and it being interpreted many times over, by the superior courts, we still have interpretation issues.* Interpreting the constitution will keep happening depending on the newer legal nuances which the authorities would either like to cover or leave uncovered. Given the nature of changes, amendments to the constitution are warranted, and we have had 104 so far. Far away from the clear-cut operations, clear judicial scrutiny and amendments,  lots of grey areas which cannot be generally touched up is what I call as constitutional logjams.

When operations happen in a manner not putting any constitutional provision in jeopardy and still the quality legal deliverable does not happen,  is a constitutional logjam. There are any number occurring on a regular basis. Till the time you are not forcefully made to understand, you would either believe everything is running fine or at the very best there is a minor aberration. The parliament becoming a super constitution is one such constitutional logjam. The non-conduct of proceedings of the houses of the parliament, when the members are available and constitutional business needs to be conducted and still it does not contravene any provisions is what constitutional logjams are all about.

Governments changing in quick succession based on legislature arithmetic, different combination of parties, and each being the will of the people is the ultimate constitutional logjam one can imagine of. Have fought against each other and then coming together after the elections to form a government is a constitutional logjam which needs to be sorted out. Being ready to lose membership to put a government in place is what? Then face the electorate again and add to the numbers of one political party is what? You force  elections  for no constitutional reason after having been elected for five years, for your own personal gains is a one of its kind constitutional logjam. The best part of the constitutional logjam is that nobody finds it to be an issue.

When public interest is not defined, it is a constitutional logjam, more so for the permanent members of the bureaucracy. When only caste is talked about and becomes the main criteria for election / selection in practice, for some top constitutional posts, is it not a constitutional logjam? Changing gears from being fully merit based to fully partisan, depending on the area,  is the practicing mindset which the framers of the  constitution had never envisaged, it seems. That lawmakers spend the least time in law making is a constitutional logjam. Is the lack of stipulated time for delivery of justice not a constitutional logjam? The list of constitutional logjams is endless, the logjam practitioners are having a field day, why should they change. Time to review and take corrective action, else we will finally become legally jammed nation.


Sanjay Sahay

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