Skip to main content

Notify law to monitor 'brazen abuse' of preventive detentions, demand ex-babus

Counterview Desk 

The Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), made up of India's former civil servants*, has asked Union Minister of Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju to notify Section 3 of the Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, passed way back in 1978 "to provide for impartial and independent advisory board to examine the justification for preventive detention."
Regretting that the amendment has not been effected even 43 years after it was passed Paliament, CCG's open letter to the minister said, such an advisory board requires to be appointed in accordance with the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court, is to be headed by a sitting judge of that High Court, with at least two serving/former judges of any High Court as members of the Board.
"The unconscionable delay of 43 years in the issue of this notification has resulted in a brazen abuse of preventive detention laws in gross violation of human rights and a progressive erosion of our cherished democratic values", the letter states.


We are a group of former civil servants of the All India and Central Services who have worked with the Central and State Governments in the course of our careers. As a group, we have no affiliation with any political party but believe in impartiality, neutrality and commitment to the Constitution of India.
You would be aware that Art. 22(4) of the Constitution of India was amended by the Constitution (Forty Fourth Amendment) Act, 1978. S. 3 of this amendment Act provides that the Advisory Board, to be constituted for examining the justification for preventive detention under this Article, is to be appointed in accordance with the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court; it is to be headed by a sitting judge of that High Court and have at least two serving/former judges of any High Court as members of the Board.
The said S. 3 also deleted Art 22(7)(a) of the Constitution, thereby deleting the provision authorizing preventive detention without obtaining the opinion of an Advisory Board.
These amendments were meant to curtail the arbitrary power of governments to appoint on the Advisory Board any person qualified to be a judge of a High Court, and to ensure that no preventive detentions could be made, or continued, without obtaining the opinion of the Advisory Board within 2 months of the detention. These provisions have yet to come into force since a notification to give effect to S. 3 of the 44th Constitutional Amendment has not been issued.
At present, any advocate who is qualified to be a judge of a High Court, can be appointed to the Advisory Board. In effect, any advocate with ten years or more of practice can sit on an Advisory Board. This provision is, thus, vulnerable to abuse by governments which, instead of appointing neutral, independent members to the Board, may appoint persons of their choice, including those owing allegiance to the political party in power.
A look at the Objects and Reasons of the Constitution (Forty Fourth Amendment) Act, 1978 explains why Parliament, soon after the experience of the Emergency of 1975-77, considered it necessary to check arbitrary preventive detentions. Para 1 of the Objects and Reasons is cited below:
“Recent experience has shown that the fundamental rights, including those of life and liberty, granted to citizens by the Constitution are capable of being taken away by a transient majority. It is, therefore, necessary to provide adequate safeguards against the recurrence of such a contingency in the future and to ensure to the people themselves an effective voice in determining the form of government under which they are to live. This is one of the primary objects of this Bill.”
Successive Union Governments have, however, failed to notify any date for the coming into force of this Constitutional Amendment that was passed by Parliament as far back as 1978. It is not open to the Government of India to sit in judgment over the wisdom of Parliament, which was convinced of the necessity of amending Clause (4)(a) and deleting Clause (7)(a) of Article 22 through the Constitution (Forty Fourth Amendment) Act, 1978.
The provision empowering the Government of India to notify the dates for the coming into force of different provisions of the Constitution (Forty Fourth Amendment) Act was intended to give the government some flexibility in this regard. It will be a travesty if this provision is conveniently used by the government to negate the legislative intent by refusing to notify the date of coming into effect of the Constitution (Forty Fourth Amendment) Act. The unconscionable delay of 43 years in the issue of this notification has resulted in a brazen abuse of preventive detention laws in gross violation of human rights and a progressive erosion of our cherished democratic values.
We, therefore, urge the Government of India to forthwith notify a date for the coming into force of S. 3 of the Constitution (Forty Fourth Amendment) Act, 1978.
Satyamev Jayate
Click here for signatories



Junk food push causing severe public health crisis of obesity, diabetes in India: Report

By Rajiv Shah  A new report , “The Junk Push: Rising Consumption of Ultra-processed foods in India- Policy, Politics and Reality”, public health experts, consumers groups, lawyers, youth and patient groups, has called upon the Government of India to check the soaring consumption of High Fat Sugar or Salt (HFSS) foods or ultra-processed foods (UPF), popularly called junk food.

Astonishing? Violating its own policy, Barclays 'refinanced' Adani Group's $8 billion bonds

By Rajiv Shah  A new report released by two global NGOs, BankTrack and the Toxic Bonds Network, has claimed to have come up with “a disquieting truth”: that Barclays, a financial heavyweight with a “controversial” track record, is deeply entrenched in a “disturbing” alliance with “the Indian conglomerate and coal miner Adani Group.”

Insider plot to kill Deendayal Upadhyay? What RSS pracharak Balraj Madhok said

By Shamsul Islam*  Balraj Madhok's died on May 2, 2016 ending an era of old guards of Hindutva politics. A senior RSS pracharak till his death was paid handsome tributes by the RSS leaders including PM Modi, himself a senior pracharak, for being a "stalwart leader of Jan Sangh. Balraj Madhok ji's ideological commitment was strong and clarity of thought immense. He was selflessly devoted to the nation and society. I had the good fortune of interacting with Balraj Madhok ji on many occasions". The RSS also issued a formal condolence message signed by the Supremo Mohan Bhagwat on behalf of all swayamsevaks, referring to his contribution of commitment to nation and society. He was a leading RSS pracharak on whom his organization relied for initiating prominent Hindutva projects. But today nobody in the RSS-BJP top hierarchy remembers/talks about Madhok as he was an insider chronicler of the immense degeneration which was spreading as an epidemic in the high echelons of th

From 'Naatu-Naatu' to 'Nipah-Nipah': Dancing to the tune of western pipers?

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD*  Some critics have commented that the ecstatic response of most Indians to the Oscar for the racy Indian song, “Naatu-Naatu” from the film, “RRR” reeks of sheer racism, insulting visuals and a colonial hangover. It was perhaps these ingredients that impressed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, one critic says.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Avoidable Narmada floods: Modi birthday fete caused long wait for release of dam waters

Counterview Desk  Top advocacy group, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), has accused the Sardar Sarovar dam operators for once again acting in an "unaccountable" manner, bringing "avoidable floods in downstream Gujarat."  In a detailed analysis, SANDRP has said that the water level at the Golden Bridge in Bharuch approached the highest flood level on September 17, 2023, but these "could have been significantly lower and much less disastrous" both for the upstream and downstream areas of the dam, if the authorities had taken action earlier based on available actionable information.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Jharkhand: Attempt to create red scare for 'brutal crackdown', increase loot of resources

Counterview Desk  The civil rights group Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization in a statement on plans to crackdown on “64 democratic progressive organisations” in Jharkhand under the pretext of the need to investigate their Maoist link, has alleged that this an attempt to suppress dissent against corporate loot and create an authoritarian state.

Victim of 'hazardous' jobs, Delhi sanitary workers get two thirds of minimum wages

By Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, the Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM) organized a Training of Trainers (ToT) Workshop for sewer workers and waste pickers from all across Delhi NCR. The workshop focused on bringing sanitation workers from different parts of Delhi to train them for organization building and to discuss their issues of minimum wage, contractual labour, regular jobs and social security.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.