An over-view of India
Think India and the image that immediately flashes the mind is that of chaos and poverty, with a few odd economic success stories shining like tinsels on tattered rags. "The regressive and continually deteriorating plight of our large populace is no secret. About 110 crore of India's population exists under highly impoverished and wretched conditions. Forty percent of our country is infected with Maoism, Naxalism, terrorism and seditious activism. People from all walks of lives are disgruntled and frustrated. Protests and movements are now a regular feature in our country.
Consistent shortage of water and frequent breakdowns of power, creaking infrastructure, lack of job opportunities, galloping inflation, dwindling value of the rupee and dangerously depleting environment present a nightmarish scenario of our nation which haunts the common man.
Consistent failures of our Legislature and Executive are no longer acceptable"!
All these issues relate to the fundamental and inalienable socio-economic requirements of a nation. As they remain highly dilapidated they are tantamount to gross human rights violations (HRV's). All HRV's are defiance of the basic law (fundamental rights and socioeconomic requirements) and are justiciable in a court of law and fall within the purview of the Judiciary to redress. United Nations' charter and various, treatises and human rights protections, promulgated from time to time, also make these submissions justiciable (Section 4.1 (p. 118 of the book)). These requirements of our people are enumerated under Fundamental Rights, Part III and economic and social objectives, PART IV of our Constitution.
Perennial relief operations by successive governments to artificially salvage the situation have proved a failure. Such relief operations are human rights violations and cannot be a long-term solution for perennial predicaments (Section 1.3 (p. 33)). In our case, our guardians have played havoc with the very people they were supposed to protect.
The rights of the people of India are protected by our Constitution and also the charter and various treaties of the United Nations (UN) such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, 1948). The fulfilment of basic objectives as defined in the Constitution, namely economic freedom, dignity, equality of status, opportunity, and fraternity are our fundamental rights. Since they remain grossly unfulfilled by our guardians (the Legislature and the Executive), the onus now shifts to our third most responsible guardian, the Judiciary, to discharge these obligations by establishing a responsible and accountable system of governances at the Union and States as prayed. The Judiciary is within its Constitutional bounds to do so. Today the number of the impoverished alone has risen to more than 110 crore which is more than three times that of India's population at the time of Independence (33-34 crore, Section 2.1 (p. 37)).
Mr M. Ananthasayanam Ayyangar, member of the Constituent Assembly of India, during a debate described Article 32 thus: The elected Executive, which comes into being for the time-being, is apt to abuse its powers, and therefore the Supreme Court must be there, strong and untrammelled by the day-to-day passions which may bring a set of people into power and also throw them out in a very short time. Therefore, the people's rights must be carefully watched and for this purpose, the Supreme Court has been vested with the supreme ultimate, jurisdiction". (Source: Discussion on 9 December 1949 in the Constituent Assembly of India "on the scheme, object and enactment of Article 32 of the Constitution").
Those who believe in the 'Parliamentary Sovereignty' rather than 'Parliamentary Accountability' neither knows India's Constitution nor want to honour it.
The present PIL aims to halt the consistent regression of the nation and to heal the heart-rending pathetic conditions of its perennially suffering debilitated masses. The former Chief Justice of India, Mr K.G. Balakrishnan, statement in this respect has enormous relevance (clippings 1 and 2):
that the basic function of the Judiciary is to protect the rights of the people and all its actions must be directed to further this responsibility.
The Honourable former Chief Justice of India further clarified that before criticising the court, which serves as the whip hand of the people towards any wrong done by the State, other organs of governance must also make sure that their conduct is exemplary to establish a "fiduciary relationship" so as to deserve the trust of the people. That in a democracy people are paramount and it is the inherent duty of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary to perform meaningful roles in making the lives of the common man dignified and happy. (Also, see clipping 3.)
Clippings 62 tell the tale of consistent non-performance and little accountability of our governments and the consequent deteriorating plight of the nation. The woes of regression have pressed cruelly upon the debilitated people of our country. A glimpse of the present Indian economic scenario is briefly narrated below:
Dilapidating, Crumbling, and Dismaying Infrastructure