In 1748, Montesquieu published L’Espirit des Lois or The Spirit of Laws, which introduced the theory of separation of powers and formed the basic foundation of several constitutions, including that of India. The State that most effectively promotes liberty is one where the legislative, executive and judicial powers are entrusted to different bodies that act independently of each other.
After the Emergency of 1975-77, the advent of public interest litigation (PIL) brought the judiciary centre stage. While PILs played a salutary role in releasing 40,000 undertrial prisoners, checking pollution and preventing deforestation, the judiciary was increasingly petitioned to resolve almost every major crisis. The 19th century political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville famously remarked: “There is scarcely any political question in the United States that does not ultimately resolve itself into a judicial question.” In India, there is scarcely any controversy or crisis that does not become the subject matter of a PIL.
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THE RUMBLINGS WITHIN
EVEN AS THE BJP’S EXPANSIONIST DRIVE CONTINUES AT A NATIONAL LEVEL, IT IS BATTLING ATTRITION IN SEVERAL KEY STATES IT RULES, INCLUDING SOME THAT GO TO POLLS EARLY NEXT YEAR
THE YOUNG SURVIVORS
On April 8, Deepak Solanki, resident of Bagratawa, a village in Madhya Pradesh’s Hoshangabad district, tested positive for the coronavirus. Two days earlier, Solanki and his wife Anita developed a fever and other flu-like symptoms, but they thought it was likely just about of common flu—it hadn’t yet sunk in that Covid was no longer the urban phenomenon they imagined it to be. However, an RT-PCR test, done on the insistence of Deepak, 45, a district medical representative, proved otherwise. Deepak was admitted to a private medical facility the same day and Anita two days later. Their children—two daughters, aged 18 and 15, and a son, 12—were left in the care of their nephew Shrikant Solanki. All three children, too, had tested positive.
Q+ A ‘I want to do everything'
Actor Arjun Kapoor on breaking the mould, shooting in the ‘new normal’ and on his latest film, Sandeep aur Pinky Faraar
An Indian fugitive in the Caribbean makes a sensational claim of abduction. Can India bring Mehul Choksi back to face justice?
ON A ROLL
Huma Qureshi talks about juggling the multiple roles of an actress, a fundraiser for Covid relief and an author
Fear and ‘Safe Zones' in Kashmir
The dramatic and hostile reord er ing of Jammu and Kashmir’s political status visavis the Indian state on August 5, 2019 was followed by a systematic emasculation of the old political order and its replacement by a new set of elected lead ers. The BJPled central government felt that taking control of local governance institutions (panchayat and municipal committees) was the best way to neutralise the traditional political parties and its legislators in the absence of a functioning assembly. But nearly two years down the line, grassroots democ racy has become a hostage in the battle between the militants and government forces. There have been threats and executions and instances of elected representatives fleeing their native villages.
Can Inoculate Its India's 900 Million Adult Population By December 31?
Battered by the second wave of covid-19, the government recalibrates its vaccination strategy in the hope of inoculating india’s 900 million adult population by december 31. How realistic is this target?
A New Era Begins
The Battle For Online Privacy
The new IT rules have led to a face-off between the union government and social media giants. But amid all the furore, have user rights become the biggest casualty?
How Safe Are Your Kids?
While the elderly remain a priority for covid care and vaccination, the risk of infections in young children may have been overlooked