Explained: What is Article 356 of the Indian Constitution

New Delhi, May 05: A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Tuesday alleging “widespread violence” in the aftermath of assembly polls in West Bengal and sought imposition of President’s rule, deployment of central forces and a probe by a retired apex court judge into the “targeted pogrom”.

Earlier in the day, senior advocate and BJP’s national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia also moved the top court seeking CBI probe into violent incidents in the state during and after the poll process.

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DDC polls: Elected representatives to take oath in name of Indian Constitution

BJP winning candidate Azaz Hussain

New Delhi, Dec 23: The Centre would have much to smile about following the conduct of the district development council (DDC) elections in Jammu and Kashmir.

This was the first electoral exercise post the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K. The participation in the elections were good and the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration welcomed the results and this shows that all want democracy which will ultimately result in development of the Union Territory.

One of the biggest positives was the participation of the Gupkar Alliance post the scrapping of the special status. 

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History made: J&K police take oath under Indian Constitution for the first time

New Delhi, Nov 19: The newly recruited policemen in Jammu and Kashmir took oath under the Constitution of India. This is for the first time that this has happened in history and this was facilitated by the decision to abrogate Article 370. Prior to the abrogation, Jammu and Kashmir had its own Constitution. Following the August 5 decision this has been abolished.

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The Right To Fast

Photo courtesy: Gaurdian
The government has denied Anna Hazare the permission to go on a fast. This can be well debated whether the government was right in doing so or not.

Firstly, the right to fast comes under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution which deals with right to expression. The government’s decision to crack down on persons going on fasts can be debated on various counts.

According to legal experts, the decision of the government to deny Anna Hazare the permission to go on fast can be challenged before the Supreme Court of India which has a plethora of judgments on this subject. The Supreme Court has time and again defined the right to speech and expression as imbibed under the Indian Constitution.

Legal experts say that India had attained independence through peaceful protest and going by the protests being carried out by both Baba Ramdev and Anna Hazare there is no doubt that they are following in the foot steps of what all our freedom fighters did.

There is no ruling of any court which bans fasting. It is each ones individual right to go on fast since it is a manner in which one can protest against the government and there is no bar on that. The freedom of expression and speech under which the right to fast comes under is incorporated under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. This right cannot be denied unless and until there is an illegality. However legal experts say that the manner in which the government has denied Anna the right to fast can well be an illegality. This right cannot be denied outright, experts also point out.

The government has been giving many excuses and this cannot be accepted and hence can well be challenged before the Courts. On one hand the government says that they apprehend a law and order problem if this fast is allowed. However look at what happened with Baba Ramdev. He was on a fast for a couple of days and there was no violence. The issue only began when there was a crack down and hence we all know who started the problem. By curbing people the right to go on fast, the government is acting in a manner opposed to the Constitution of India.

While dealing with such matters, the government needs to take into account certain things. They will need to keep an eye on the manner in which the protest is being carried out. They cannot deny permission outright. They can act only if they feel that the protest is turning violent. However what the government will need to see here is that in the past protests by the same persons has not turned violent and hence there is no justification in denying permission. The other thing the government could do is to fix responsibility on the person leading the protest. This would ensure that the security is the responsibility of the person undertaking the fast.

Now coming back to the issue of right to fast, the government will be in a position only if the person claims that he would fast unto death. There is no law which allows this and if a person says he will fast unto death then it would fall under the ambit of attempting to committing suicide as mandated under the Indian Penal Code. If there is such a declaration then the government is well within its right to stop the person/deny permission or forcibly evict him out of the place.

Justice Santosh Hegde, member of the Lok Pal drafting committee says that the government has not acted correctly here. The refusal of permission in the initial stage is bad in law. The government is within its rights to take action only if the assembly turns violent. However there is one bit of advise I would like to give Baba Ramdev now and that is not to go ahead with his protest in public glare. I am saying this only because this government is capable of introducing some bad elements in the assembly who in turn will kick up a racket and at the end of it Baba Ramdev will have to take the blame.

On whether the Lok Pal drafting committee would continue to boycott the meetings in the event of the Baba Ramdev fiasco, Justice Hegde says that there is no such plan. We will continue with the meetings and as per my information the meetings will go on as per schedule.