Saturday, March 13, 2010

WRB: Is states' assent mandatory?

There is a widespread view that the amendment of the Constitution enabling reservations for women in state assemblies and Lok Sabha will require ratification by state assemblies under Article 368 of the Constitution. At the PRS blog, Anirudh, however, challenges this view in this post.

2 comments:

Tarunabh Khaitan said...

i fail to see myself on what basis states' assent is necessary. the bill does not fall within any of the proviso categories in article 368. article 368 has many grey areas, this does not appear to be one of them.
of course, this does not mean that we cannot develop a constitutional convention whereby lok sabha seeks the (non-binding?) views of the states (or even of the people directly, through a referendum) before passing contentious constitutional amendments like this one (or, for that matter, any constitutional amendment). but that is only a possibility - no such convention currently exists, and the provisions of article 368 do not seem to make the demands that many newspapers are reporting it to make in the current context.

Tarunabh Khaitan said...

the confusion has apparently arisen on the basis of the text of clause (d) of the proviso to Article 368(2), which requires states' assent for a bill which seeks to amend 'the representation of States in Parliament'. Surely, 'States' are 'represented' only in the Rajya Sabha. Lok Sabha represents the people directly, not the states. The WRB does not touch Rajya Sabha membership, if I understand it correctly. It only deals with Lok Sabha membership, which seems to me to be outside the ambit of Article 368(2)(d).