Prasanna S Profile picture
A coder turned lawyer. Progressive. Liberal. On Mastodon as @prasanna_s@mstdn.social. Part of @Article21_Ind and @Project_Const
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25 Jul
Godi Media are predictably rushing to gaslight to present Rajasthan Governor's refusal to summon the Rajasthan Assembly : as some unresolved constitutional conundrum.

Well, it is NOT.

It is totally unlawful. Goes against a consistent and long line of SC decisions. #Thread
The key provisions of the constitution that apply in the question here are Articles 174 and 163.
163(2), at first brush, reads like a blanket protection to all decisions of the Governor.

We do however know that in practice, Governor's decisions have been reviewed by courts, particularly in cases of government formation/ toppling. How does it happen?
Read 12 tweets
22 Mar
Thread.

Do the police have the authority to enforce #JanataCurfew?

No.

Why not?

1/
A curfew or a restriction order under Section 144 of CrPC in a locality or a district can only be passed by the District Magistrates and in some states and cities by the commissioner of police under the respective police laws.

2/
The central government has no power under the Constitution or under any law for issuing such a blanket prohibition order.

3/
Read 6 tweets
24 Dec 19
The Aadhaar-NPR-NRC link was pointed out in the Petition filed by @sgvombatkere & @BezwadaWilson and in the Petition filed by @mathew111938 back in 2015!

Section 14A of the Citizenship Act, NRC & NPR were all sought to be struck down.

Thread with screenshots. 1/
WP(C) 220/2015 and WP(C) 37/2015 respectively were cases which were tagged along with other larger Aadhaar cases and the grounds and reliefs concerning the NPR, NRC and the citizenship act was never considered by the Court as the emphasis and focus was largely on Aadhaar 2/
Some extracts from those Petitions.
Read 5 tweets
21 Dec 19
So how can Govt take back CAA given it has been passed by parliament?

#Thread.

1. Make a public announcement and a PIB release saying that the Act won't be brought to force anytime soon - and certainly not before the next session of parliament.
2. Promise to introduce a repealing Act in the next session of Parliament and promise that the Govt will out its support behind the repeal.
3. Some have suggested an ordinance route to repeal. Ordinance is NOT for such purposes. It is a slippery slope. There is no emergent situation. The law is not even in force.
Read 7 tweets
29 Nov 19
Now that BJP has also joined in (again) in the chorus against EVMs, it is time for another electoral integrity thread.

In my mind, broadly, election process integrity can be modelled as four levels of guarantee.
Level - 1. There is no conclusive proof that any given election has been rigged.
Level - 2. There is reasonable consensus among technical experts that the process is not riggable in any one candidate or party's favour or produce arbitrary results : with the technological and other tools available as of *today*.
Read 12 tweets
5 Aug 19
AG Noorani in his book.

This is how 370 was intended to operate.

See Gopalaswami Ayyangar's exposition of it in the constituent assembly on 17. 10. 1949.

Thread 1/
This was the exact concern that Sheikh Abdullah had. 2/
Article 370 cannot be used to amend Article 370, unless Article 370 gives President that power.

370(1)(d) gives power only to amend articles other than Article 1 and 370.

370(3) can only be abrogated. Which is no longer possible because there is no constituent assembly. 3/
Read 7 tweets
21 Apr 19
Reflections on the allegations against the CJI & the hearing yesterday.
1. First on the hearing yesterday. If it is indeed the Solicior General that mentioned and sought a special sitting, did he mention the matter in his capacity as SG or on instruction from the central government? If so, which officer instructed the SG to mention?
2.If there was indeed a listing as a suo motu PIL writ petition(instead of a contempt petition), against the journals that carried the allegations, why was the contents of the publication, the motives of the publication a matter of discussion in the court proceedings?
Read 14 tweets
7 Apr 19
#Thread - A heads-up on the EVM-VVPAT hearing tomorrow before the Supreme Court. 1/n
2. A batch of Writ Petitions challenging the ECI's decision to audit EVM counts using VVPATs in no more than one polling station per constituency are coming for hearing. 2/n
3. First of those was filed by M.G. Devasahayam (a former civil servant who has has himself conducted elections) and others. The Supreme Court had issued notice in the matter in January this year. thehindu.com/news/national/…
Read 27 tweets
29 Sep 18
Does the Union Government have to direct the telecom service providers to delete biometric and Aadhaar details of their customers following the #Aadhaar judgment? A short thread.
1. We all know that the judgment had three separate judgments. One by majority of Sikri J writing for himself, CJI Misra and Khanwilkar J.
There was a minority judgment by Chandrachud J which was partly concurring with Sikri J
and another partly concurring judgment by Bhushan J
2. On the question of illegality and unconstitutionality of the telecom-Aadhaar linking exercise, all the five judges agreed and struck down the exercise and the 23rd March 2016 circular of the DoT as unconstitutional.
Read 11 tweets
26 Sep 18
#Aadhaar Judgment continued
(Sorry the earlier thread no longer loads for me on twitter).

DYC J has penned a partial dissent.

DYC says this is a seminal case that poses questions on democracy, power and liberty and constitutionalism.
DYC J overrules earlier judgment on money bill whether or not speaker decision is subject to judicial review. Elaborate discussion of rule of law and judicial review. Sikri J agrees on this point.
However DYC J holds that Aadhaar cannot have been a money bill. Not even Section 7. Passing a Bill which is not a money bill as a money bill a subterfuge and a fraud on the constitution. This is a dissent from Sikri J view.
Read 28 tweets
26 Sep 18
#Aadhaar judgment. Thread. Will be tweeting opinions as they are pronounced. Final conclusions based on majority will be clear only at the end of the thread.
Waiting for the Bench to assemble.
Bench has assembleed. Judgment is voluminous.

First judgment is by Justice Sikri. CJI and Khanwilkar J have concurred with him. DYC J and Ashok Bhushan J have written separate opinions.
Read 36 tweets
18 Aug 18
Thread. The Delhi Govt yesterday pulled up by the Delhi HC for not implementing several mandatory provisions of the Food Security Act, letting thousands go hungry in the national capital.

livelaw.in/put-together-a…
The Government had no explanation whatsoever in completely defaulting on not only the statutory mandate of implementation of NFSA before July 2014, but also an order passed by the Court on 01.09.2017!
The Govt told the Court that their main concern was that the benefits meant for Delhiites should not be cornered by migrants! The Court rejected that contention as completely irrelevant for compliance and sought a plan of compliance within two weeks.
Read 5 tweets
25 Jun 18
Too much noise over the weekend trying to suggest that the modern left has to be more accommodating of the right so that the right does not become more reactionary. Some thoughts/rants. 1/
It is only recently that the left has started reclaiming its mainstream space. It has started ignoring the don't-wake-up-your-neighbour type warnings. (IMHO, obviously) 2/
The reactionary right is not some fringe or a small minority or a vulnerable group that we should guard against further marginalization or condescension. They are the ones in power now. Almost everywhere in the world. They set the narrative. They are the mainstream. 3/
Read 13 tweets
16 May 18
There is not one flaw in India's constitutional democracy that the present regime has not exposed or exploited:

1. Office of the Governor;
2. Judges appointments;
3. Appointments to other institutions and tribunals;
4. The virtual unassailability of the decisions of ...1/
...the speaker of assembly or Loksabha(Money Bill/ Disqualification for defection; not allowing the introduction of no confidence motion);
5. The office of VP and his powers over removal of judges;
6. Finance Commission
7. Post retirement posts.

Etc. Etc. 2/
These structural flaws are obviously pre-existing and we have had proofs of concept demonstrated to us before. What we are seeing now though is exploitation of each of those flaws at once with absolutely no sense of shame or apology. 3/
Read 6 tweets
10 May 18
#DestroyTheAadhaar is the primary prayer of the Petitioners. That case has now been made before the final adjudicating body in the country. The fate of the only such project in any democracy that sought to fingerprint its entire population, hangs in the balance.
Many people to thank. Profusely. First, the Petitioners. All distinguished citizens and indefatigable champions of civil liberties. @sgvombatkere @BezwadaWilson @mathew111938 @nikhilmkss @vvcrishna @gnowgi @ramakumarr, Aruna Roy, Shantha Sinha, Dr. Kalyani Menon Sen, ...
M.G.Devasahayam, Thomas Franco, Sam Rajappa, Nachiket Udupa etc. And those that helped enormously with material that formed sworn affidavits before the Court- Prof. Reetika Khera, Prof. Jean Dreze, @anumayhem , @samirkelekar , Dr. Rakesh Goyal, @iam_anandv, Dr. Yogesh Jain ..
Read 11 tweets
10 May 18
#Aadhaar hearing. Rejoinder to continue. Gopal Subramanium Sr. Advocate is ready and waiting for the Bench to assemble. Will try and capture as much as possible in tweets, but is tough to keep pace when he is in his zone and in full flow :)
GS: On all notifications on Section 7. Each of the notifications are in furtherance of the dignity of the individual. If that is so, there is no question of imposing conditions when dignity is an inherent and inalienable right.
Sikri J asks about deduplication and therefore reaching the correct targeted beneficiary.

GS: If it is indeed such a affirmative action law, it needs to stand constitutional scrutiny. Stated purpose of the law is not necessarily the proper purpose of the law for constitutional..
Read 76 tweets
9 May 18
#Aadhaar hearing thread. Rejoinder to resume. Before that the Court is pronouncing a fab judgment.

On whether parliamentary committee reports can be taken judicial notice of as evidence of facts. SC answers in the affirmative.

DYC J reading his concurring judgment....
.....and part of His judgment is the assertion that the constitutionalism in India now is about moving from a culture of authority to a culture of justification. (Recall this exchange also came in the course of Aadhaar hearings when Sr. Gopal Subramanium pointed this out)
Rejoinder hearing resumes. Sr. Counsel Shyam Divan continues his submissions.

Refreshes the Court's memory on Prof. Manindra Agrawal's report and the conclusions he drew from that for the Court.
Read 35 tweets
3 May 18
#Aadhaar rejoinders commence. Shyam Divan begins for petitioners. Thread.
SD says he wants to reiterate many agreements between P and R.

1. This an immensely large project.
2. First such attempt in a democracy.
3. Surveillance is unconstitutional. (Although R disagree that aadhaar creates a surveillance state).
SD refreshes the memory by citing to @samirkelekar and Jt Dsouza affidavits and shows how Union filed an affidavit by Prof. Manindra Agarwal as late as 9th March. He wants to read that affidavit first.

CEO talked glowingly about him, a Godel prize winner.
Read 25 tweets
3 May 18
#Aadhaar hearing. A-G now trying to argue how Lokniti order actually constituted a direction to government. Thread.
Reading Lokniti order and the Bench's recital of the Union government affidavit in that order.
DYC J asks how the linking is relatable to Section 7.

Sikri J points out that petitioners wanted something and Govt agreed. where is the question of a direction, he asks.

A-G says "your Lordships judgment....what more?"

A-G then reads the interim orders...
Read 5 tweets
2 May 18
#Aadhaar hearing. Second half of Day 35. Thread. @ZohebHossain continues his arguments for UIDAI and the state of Maharashtra.
Cites various other statutory provisions including CrPC and IT Act that provide for reasonable search and seizure and how they have been challenged earlier and have passed constitutional muster.
Next argument on Section 33(2) and the point petitioners made about the phrase 'national security' being undefined and vague.
Read 27 tweets
2 May 18
Chinese Whispers it seems.
livemint.com/Opinion/1hG7NH…

Let me supply some crucial ommissions in this @rahulmatthan rant. +
1. In August 2016, when the purported "Aadhar-based e-KYC for mobile" had been initiated, the Act was not in force and the 11.08.2015 order that prohibited UIDAI from sharing its data in any manner whatsoever, including E-KYC, was in force. +
2. TRAI had filed an application to modify the 11.08.2015 order to allow it to use Aadhaar, which was not allowed by the Constitution Bench in its 15.10.2015 order even as it allowed voluntary use of Aadhaar in Jandhan, EPFO, Pensions and NREGA +
Read 11 tweets