The Road Not Taken: India’s Failure to Entrench Opposition Rights | Meenakshi R. & Aishwarya S.
Aishwarya Singh & Meenakshi Ramkumar, in The Road Not Taken: India’s Failure to Entrench Opposition Rights, discuss the importance of the opposition in parliamentary democracies by referring to Waldron’s conception of the opposition’s dual function—to extract accountability from government and to be prepared as “government-in-waiting”. Highlighting the potential abuse of power by political majorities and the silencing of the opposition, the authors argue that the dismal state of opposition in India can be attributed to the absence of opposition rights, partisan functioning of the presiding officer in the Parliament and deferential Supreme Court. Drawing a comparison to opposition rights in South Africa, where the framework is entrenched within the Constitution, the authors argue for the entrenchment of a framework for opposition rights in India. They argue that in the absence of such a framework, judicial review of the legislative process might serve as an imperfect solution. However, the authors caution that if the standards of such review are not clearly laid down within the constitution, it will lead to different judicial interpretations.
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