Reportage on a planet without equitable or sustainable development.
A cynical, instrumental use of Law
Cast your mind back to the days when Kapil Sibal and others were negotiating with Team Anna about the Jan Lokpal Bill. Team Anna, at one point, wanted its version of Lokpal Bill to be passed by the Parliament by a particular date. Fail to pass the bill, the team members said, and Anna would stop eating again. At that time, Sibal and his cabinet colleagues described the demand as unconstitutional. Not to mention disrespectful to the Parliament.
It’s interesting to recall those halycon days in the wake of the Standing Committee on Finance report on the UIDAI Bill. One reason the Committee rejected the National Identification Authority of India Bill is that due Parliamentary process was not followed. Nandan Nilakani’s UIDAI was collecting biometrics and issuing numbers even before the Bill became law. The committee’s report says it was at a “loss to understand as to how the UIDAI, without statutory power, could address key issues concerning their basic functioning and initiate proceedings against the defaulters and penalize them.”
One response to “A cynical, instrumental use of Law”
The damage is deep, and irreparable. Thanks for writing the piece, journalists like you keep a watch on every citizen’s behalf. What can we do further? I hope some take up these issues and challenge the government through PILs, and questions in Parliament.
I am an Indian journalist with interests in energy, environment, climate and India’s ongoing slide into right-wing authoritarianism. My book, Despite the State, an examination of pervasive state failure and democratic decay in India, was published by Westland Publications, India, in January 2021. My work has won the Bala Kailasam Memorial Award; the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award; and five Shriram Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism. Write to me at email@example.com.
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