interpretations as new arguments new points of view are presented they can

Interpretations as new arguments new points of view

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interpretations as new arguments, new points of view are presented, they can shift the dividing line in marginal cases, but there are barriers they cannot pass, definite assignments of power they cannot reallocate. They can give a broadening construction of existing powers, but they cannot assign to one authority powers explicitly granted to another The first charge of centralization defeating federalism must therefore fall. The second charge is that the Centre has been given the power to override the States. This charge must be admitted. But before condemning the Constitution for containing such overriding powers, certain considerations must be borne in mind. The first is that these overriding powers do not form the normal feature of the constitution. Their use and operation are expressly confined to emergencies only. The second consideration is: Could we avoid giving overriding powers to the Centre when an emergency has arisen? Those who do not admit the justification for such overriding powers to the Centre even in an emergency, do not seem to have a Page334 clear idea of the problem which lies at the root of the matter. The problem is so clearly set out by a writer in that well-known magazine "The Round Table" in its issue of December 1935 that I offer no apology for quoting the following extract from it. Says the writer: Political systems are a complex of rights and duties resting ultimately on the question, to whom, or to what authority. Does the citizen owe allegiance? In normal affairs the question is not present, for the law works smoothly, and a man, goes about his business obeying one authority in this set of matters and another authority in that. But in a moment of crisis, a conflict of claims may arise, and it is then apparent that ultimate allegiance cannot be divided. The issue of allegiance cannot be determined in the last resort by a juristic interpretation of statutes. The law must conform to the facts or so much the worse for the law. When all formalism is stripped away, the bare question is what authority commands the residual loyalty of the citizen. Is it the Centre or the Constituent State? The solution of this problem depends upon one's answer to this question which is the crux of the problem. There can be no doubt that in the opinion of the vast majority of the people, the residual loyalty of the citizen in an emergency must be to the Centre and not to the Constituent States. For it is only the Centre which can work for a common end and for the general interests of the country as a whole. Herein lies the justification for giving to all Centre certain overriding powers to be used in an emergency. And after all what is' the obligation imposed upon the Constituent States by these emergency powers? No more than this - that in an emergency, they should take into consideration alongside their own local interests, the opinions and interests of the nation as a whole. Only those who have, but understood the problem, can complain against it.
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  • Winter '18
  • Amrita Chakraborty
  • Drafting Committee

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