ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by A G NooraniSubscribe to A G Noorani

Banning Foreign Scholars

By a recent government order foreign national intending to attend workshop seminars has to seek clearance from the home ministry. This order is an assault on the autonomy of Indian universities, already under stress.

Ban on Pakistan TV

Information and broadcasting minister Pramod Mahajan's order banning Pakistan TV is palpably absurd, illiterate and unconstitutional.

India and the International Red Cross

Though India has not ratified the protocols relating to humanitarian law applicable to armed conflicts, in a recent judgment, the Supreme Court held that the courts are under an obligation to give due regard to international conventions and norms for construing domestic laws.

Rule of Law and Organised Crime

There is no doubt that Mumbai and some other cities, particularly large parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are threatened by mafia rule. That is no reason for not subjecting the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Bill, adopted by the state assembly last month, to objective and careful analysis.

The Enron Report: Human Rights and Multinationals

Nothing remotely comparable in research or analysis to the Human Rights Watch's report on the Enron Corporation has been published in India. The report deserves to be reprinted in an Indian edition.

How and Why Nehru and Abdullah Fell Out

How and Why Nehru and Abdullah Fell Out A G Noorani Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru, second series, volume 22 (April 1953

Ordinance Raj

A G Noorani WE have become so accustomed to legislation by the executive in the form of ordinances that, unless the abuse is patent, none questions the basics underlying this unique power. Ordinances simply do not exist in any otherdemocracy, whether in Europe or in North America, Its roots lie in British Raj and the framers of the Constitution found the noxious plant most attractive.

Law on Right to Information

A G Noorani THE union minister for urban affairs, Ram Jethmalani's move to open the files of his ministry to the public was ill-considered and inept. No individual minister can take such a decision. The files are not his personal property. His energies would be more fruitfully directed towards drafting a Freedom of Information Act.

Religious Freedom and US Constitution

Everywhere else the ambit of minorities' rights is being enlarged. In India the Sangh parivar challenges the very concept of minorities. IN the last few years a battle royal has waged between the United States Congress and the Supreme Court on the scope of the constitutional guarantee embodied in the First Amendment to the Constitution that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This is a curb on federal power, not the power of the states. In the wake of the Civil War was enacted in 1866 the famous 14th Amendment to curb the power of the states. It said inter alia that no state shall abridge the privileges of citizens of the United States ''nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" The Supreme Court so interpreted this as virtually to apply to the states the federal guarantees in the Bill of Rights as being implied in the concept of "due process of law". Section 5 of the 14th Amendment confers power on the Congress "to enforce, by appropriate legislation the provisions of this article''. It is this S 5 which proved the sticking point in the Supreme Court's ruling on June 25, 1997 in City of Boerne vs P F Ftores, archbishop of San Antonio. A majority of 6-3 held that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 1993 (RFRA) exceeded Congress's power under S 5 of the 14th Amendment and was therefore void.

Free Speech in Cyberspace

A G Noorani ON June 26,1997 the US Supreme Court gave an important ruling in Janet Reno, attorney general vs ACLU, It repays study for two reasons. The court' s description of the mechanics of cyberspace and its discussion of the guarantee of free speech.

Supreme Court on Armed Forces Act

A G Noorani AMNESTY International's Annual Report for 1998 has, in its section on India a brief para which tells all it thinks of the subject: "In November, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act which gives the security forces powers to shoot to kill with virtual impunity after hearing petitions field in 1980 and 1982". The criticism is perfectly justified.

India and Refugees

States, Citizens and Outsiders: The Uprooted Peoples of South Asia edited by Tapan K Bose and Rita Manchanda; South Asia Forum for Human Rights, PO Box 4906, Kathmandu, Nepal; Rs 550, Rs 450 (paperback).

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