Saturday, November 01, 2008

GUJCOCA and Article 254

Recent terrorist attacks throughout India have seen the BJP severely criticize the Congress approach to tackling terrorism. One issue that has been highlighted, especially by Narendra Modi, has been the central government’s refusal to assent to a MCOCA equivalent law for Gujarat, GUJCOCA.

In an article in the Indian Express, Vinay Sitapati discusses the legal issues relating to this controversy, and Shivraj Patil’s defence of his government’s position. Patil relies on Article 254(2) of the Indian Constitution and defends the existence of MCOCA by arguing: “Permission for MCOCA was given by the NDA Government; the UPA Government cannot withdraw that permission”. Mr. Sitapati's article, however, cites constitutional experts Sudhir Krishnaswamy (teaching at the National Law School, Bangalore) and Vivek Reddy (on this blog) to show how Patil’s interpretation of Article 254(2) and the principles of federalism may be misplaced. Considering this controversy has received little legal attention, I thought it may be interesting to see what other thoughts people may have on the issue.
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