Date: 5/10/2006


Title: Bending the Constitution ////// Author: M.C.Joshi////// Publication: The Pioneer////// Date: May 10,2006 /////// ////// Bending the Constitution////// MC Joshi////// The provision of reservation for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes was incorporated in the Constitution for a limited period. However, politicians not only kept extending it through repeated constitutional amendments, but the ambit of caste-based reservations too was further extended to backward classes in 1990 by implementing the recommendations of the Mandal Commission. It has since turned into the biggest vote-catching device for casteist politicians.////// /// Ironically, these very politicians have been blocking the Women's Bill and they would never introduce quota in nominating candidates for political seats of power. Why should 49.5 per cent quota for the Scheduled Castes, Tribes and the OBCs not apply on selection of candidates fielded by the political parties in elections? this sys //////// Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh claims that his move for thrusting the OBC quota in institutions of higher education is in pursuance of the 93rd Amendment of the Constitution. A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled on August 12, 2005, that in unaided private institutions, including engineering and medical colleges, the state can neither impose reservations nor can it carve out quota from the total number of seats. //////// To make the apex court verdict null-and-void, Parliament enacted the Constitution (93rd amendment) Act 2005, empowering the state to give special privileges to socially and educationally backward classes of citizens in admissions to educational institutions (except minority institutions), whether aided or unaided by the state. Former Chief Justice of India, Justice RC Lahoti, has said that the law proposed by Mr Arjun Singh will violate the Constitution and the principles laid down by the Supreme Court in a number of cases in the past and may be struck down by the court. Former Chief Justice VN Khare is also of the same opinion. However, Mr Singh appears undeterred. //////// Politicians pursuing vote-bank politics have been thrusting their discriminatory policies by making laws and amending the Constitution every time any provision or court-verdict clashes with, or falls short of, serving their political interests. In democracies, the political establishment fits itself into the framework of the Constitution. In India, however, politicians bend the Constitution to fit it into their framework./////// 000000000