The Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari, quoted an UNRISD study on parliamentary accountability in India in his remarks about the Indian Parliament. This was reported in an article in Northern Voices Online News
, an online news organization in northern India.
"The Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari has called for implementation of Dr. Ambedkar’s three-point corrective – using constitutional methods of achieving social and economic objectives, not laying our liberties at the feet of even a great man and making our political democracy a social democracy as well – in order to address the shortfalls that are corroding the edifice so diligently put in place by the Founding Fathers of the Republic....
"The Vice President said that the Constitution of India embodies the modern concept of rule of law with the establishment of a judicial system, which should be able to work impartially and free from all influences, adding that the constitutional and juridical framework were thus impeccable.
"Questioning the extent to which we as a polity are implementing the principles and procedures of rule of law in actual practice, the Vice President said that both in terms of procedural technicalities, and substantive content, there a sense of unease with regard to the working of the rule of law.
"The answer, the Vice President said, is to be sought in the functioning, or mal-functioning, of the institutions of the State. Quoting a United Nations Research Institute for Social Development study
, the Vice President said that the Parliament is increasingly becoming ineffective in providing surveillance of the executive branch of the government. With regard to the executive, the Vice President opined that the balance between its political and professional components has been disturbed and was evident in the functioning of the civil service and particularly of the police. As for the judiciary, the Vice President said that while the traditional public esteem for the judiciary has been reinforced by its activism in contrast to the failure of the executive, particularly in expanding the ambit of rights, lack of access to justice, the high cost of it, delays in the delivery of justice, lack of a mechanism for accountability and allegations of corruption have, together, given rise to doubts and added to the pervasive pessimism about the efficacy of institutions. Another area of concern is the excessive zeal reflected at times in pronouncements of members of the judiciary, he added.
The Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari, was addressing the 3rd Convocation of Hidayatullah National Law University (HNLU), Raipur, Chhattisgarh today, which was attended by the Chief Justice of India, and Chhattisgarh's Chief Minister, Chief Justice of the High Court, the Higher Education Minister and the Law Minister, among others.
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Read the UNRISD Programme Paper cited above: "The Indian Parliament as an Institution of Accountability
" by Devesh Kapur and Pratap Mehta.
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