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

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Governance Performance of Indian States

Building on a methodology developed in an earlier paper, the results of an exercise in ranking Indian states based on five sets of criteria--infrastructure, social services, fiscal performance, justice, law and order, and quality of the legislature--are presented to show how states have fared relative to each other between 2001-02 and 2011-12. What emerges is that five of the six best-performing states of 2001 were also the best performers in 2011. Similarly, four of the six worst performers of 2001 were also among the worst performers of 2011. A consequence of such stickiness of rankings at the top and the bottom is growing regional disparity between the more- and less-developed states.

Taking Free Speech Seriously

Offend, Shock, or Disturb: Free Speech under the Indian Constitution by Gautam Bhatia, Oxford University Press, 2016; pp 392, `653 (hardcover).

Evictions of Urban Poor

In the Public's Interest: Evictions, Citizenship and Inequality in Contemporary Delhi by Gautam Bhan, Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2016; pp 290, ₹ 825.

Silence on Investor –State Disputes Debate

The Law Commission of India's 260th report contains a seemingly innocuous suggestion to include a clear clause for consent to arbitrate investment disputes in India's 2015 draft Model Bilateral Investment Treaty. There is an intriguing absence of any explanation for this suggestion, which is curious, especially when viewed in the context of the global public debate on investor-state dispute settlement clauses. This suggestion requires robust public debate in India and must not silently sail past.

Defamation and Public Advocacy

A recent judgment of the City Civil Court, Mumbai, raises hopes of a meaningful contribution by the district judiciary to protection of the right to criticism of illegal acts of the state and hegemonic civil society bodies.

Mutilated Liberty and the Constitution

Without liberty there cannot be democracy and Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees that right to all citizens. In order that the state can regulate the individual's freedom in the greater interest of society a number of restrictions have been placed on these rights. However the restrictions have become so numerous today that the balance has tilted towards social control rather than liberty.

Judging the Judges

The frequent reports of acts of impropriety by some of the most senior judges should persuade the judiciary to take steps to improve its image and restore its credibility among the people.

Cheating Parliament

When the executive refuses to issue the notification announcing the date a particular law passed by the legislature comes into force, the judiciary is well within its powers to intervene. Yet, there have been occasions when the apex court has allowed such wrongs to go unchecked.

Retributive Justice

Given the fate of the survivors of the 1984 Congress-led anti-Sikh carnage, who are still awaiting the judicial punishment of the guilty, it is no surprise that the first judicial verdict on the Gujarat riots has acquitted all accused. The list of those denied retributive justice in India runs long and is growing day by day.

Judging the Judges

Courts and Their Judgments
by Arun Shourie;
Rupa and Co, New Delhi, 2001;
pp viii+454, Rs 495.

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