Statute review panel member sees danger to Preamble

Deccan Herald Tuesday 15th 2000
DH News Service

Justice V R Krishna Iyer, a member of the Constitution Review Commission and a former Supreme Court judge, has, in an obvious reference to the Sangh Parivar`s Hindutva plank, expressed the apprehension that the Vajpayee Government ''might attempt something dangerous`` under the garb of implementing the commission`s recommendations and said ''it`s time to see that the preamble to the Constitution`` which defines India as a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic ''is saved``.

Delivering a lecture on the proposed statute review, organised by a cultural organisation here on Saturday, Justice Krishna Iyer also said the country was facing ''a constitutional coup``.

He said the commission, ''a brain child of some Cabinet members`` might neither redraft the Constitution nor look at vital issues but might end up with futile recommendations. But the Government, under the garb of implementing these recommendations, might attempt ''something dangerous``, he warned.

JUSTIFIES REVIEW: He, however, justified the need for such a review as laws made by one generation could not govern the next. ''I have no doubt that the Constitution requires many changes``.

In this connection, he said the powers of the President vis-a-vis the Prime Minister need to be seriously examined to see if the executive head was ''a glorified cypher``. Also to be examined was the appointment of Governors.

He also said the criteria for the appointment of judges needed review. He said it was wrong on the part of the judiciary to have wrested the powers from the executive and called for a National Judicial Commission for the selection of judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court. He also favoured full transparency in the appointment of judges.

FLAYS IMF, WB: The left-leaning judge said the IMF and the World Bank had completely wiped out the Constitution and they were dictating terms.

In the face of the emerging global economic scenario and the WTO regime, the Government should not be allowed to sign any treaty without ratification from Parliament, he felt. ''Why should the people suffer just because one minister chooses to sign the treaty``, he asked.

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