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Working a Democratic ConstitutionA History of the Indian Experience$
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Granville Austin

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195656107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195656107.001.0001

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Governing under the Constitution

Governing under the Constitution

Chapter:
(p.431) Chapter 20 Governing under the Constitution
Source:
Working a Democratic Constitution
Author(s):

Granville Austin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195656107.003.0022

The government's programme to restore democracy, Acting President B. D. Jatti told Parliament, included the urgent tasks of removing curbs on the Fundamental Rights and restoring the rule of law. Prime Minister Morarji Desai promised remedial ‘restructuring and system change’. Pursuing these aims, while amending the Constitution, the Janata government was confronted by the responsibilities of office and the accompanying perplexities, which caused it to perform well and less well. The first section of this chapter describes the successful repealing of legislation curbing the freedoms of speech, the press, and so on. The second section describes the executive's protection of judicial independence, which on two occasions had to be from assaults by several of its own supporters. The third section deals with national unity and integrity and centre-state relations, where Janata failed to fulfill its promises of increased political participation through decentralization toward the grassroots.

Keywords:   B. D. Jatti, judicial independence, Morarji Desai, freedom of speech, press, national unity

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