Statute cannot be reviewed: V.P. Singh/P>

http://www.the-hindu.com/stories/2000/12/12/0212000f.htm
By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, DEC. 11. The former Prime Minister, Mr. V.P.Singh, today demanded the immediate dissolution of the Constitution Review Committee set up by the Union Government.

Addressing a public rally at the Ramlila grounds here, Mr. Singh said the constitution of such a committee was in violation of established democratic norms. The Constitution did not provide for its review. ``It can only be amended.''

The rally was organised by the All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations to demand the dismissal of the Constitution Review Committee, withdrawal of all orders of the Department of Personnel and Training, exaction of the Reservation Act and its extension in private sector and higher education.

He expressed apprehension that the ruling establishment was attempting to disturb the basic foundation of the Constitution. If there was indeed a need for a review, it should have been done by Parliament through a Select Committee. ``We are in favour of amendments, but review of the Constitution is not acceptable,'' he said.

Earlier, the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations national chairman, Mr. Ram Raj, demanded that three anti- reservation orders issued by the Government in 1997 be immediately withdrawn.

Demanding enactment of the Reservation Act, he said it should be included in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution. Mr. Raj also pressed for reservation in the private sector, the higher judiciary and the armed forces, time-bound promotion for ``safai karamcharis,'' empowerment of the National Commission for SCs/STs and restoration of reservation in super-specialised courses in medical and engineering colleges. The Constitution had been mainly responsible for the empowerment of dalits, Mr. Raj said.

Others who spoke included the CPI(M) leader, Mr. Harkishan Singh Surjeet, the CPI leader, Mr. D. Raja, and the Congress(I) leader, Mr. Buta Singh.

Later, a memorandum was submitted to the Prime Minister.


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