Ashish Khetan (for Info only, not official)

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Ashish Khetan

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    ...With the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the petitions challenging the validity of the demonestiation policy, the judiciary-government tussle is likely to further escalate. The final judicial outcome will have far-reaching consequences, not just for the balance of powers between the organs of the state, but for the future of constitutional democracy itself.Besides various procedural and substantive legal issues, basic human rights and the spirit of human liberty are at stake.It is important to remember that Naseer's Egypt, Sukarno's Indonesia and Stalin's Russia were all self-styled democracies. ...

    NDTV on Nov. 28, 2016, midnight

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    ...REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri The historic call made to the people, to the housewives, the farmers, the elderly and the infirm, the rich and the poor, to stand in queues for hours, day after day, is not merely an exercise to exchange a few notes of currency. No, it is a call for mass sacrifice, a ‘maha parv’ to forge a great nation. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 19, 2016, 3:59 p.m.

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    ... By returning 43 out of 77 names recommended by the Supreme Court collegium for the appointment of judges in high courts, the Centre has discarded the principle of primacy of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) in appointments and transfers of the higher judiciary. In theory, the last word still belongs to the collegium, comprising of the CJI and four other senior judges of the Supreme Court (SC). In reality, the political executive is vetoing judicial selections. Executive despotism in judicial appointments is a pre-condition for the debasement of democracy. The rejection of the collegium’s selections is akin to Indira Gandhi’s grievous assaults on judicial independence. In the 1970s-1980s,the government worked on the project of a “committed judiciary” by controlling judges’ appointments and transfers. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 16, 2016, 12:02 a.m.

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    ...The massive outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases in Delhi underscores the importance of systemic reforms promised by Modi.At the root of the malaise is an oversized, outdated and lethargic bureaucracy. Narendra Modi coined two powerful slogans as Prime Minister aspirant.To the masses he promised “acche din”; to the classes he assured “minimum government, maximum governance”.Halfway into his term both remain empty promises.In fact, Nitin Gadkari, a Union minister, even described the slogan as a “millstone” around the Modi government’s neck.“No one ever feels the good days have arrived,” he added, implying that “good days” were an impossible dream.He is wrong.Better days are not only badly required but imminently attainable.But for that Modi will have to launch a systemic overhaul. ...

    Indian Express on Sept. 17, 2016, midnight

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    ...The massive outbreak of mosquito-borne diseases in Delhi underscores the importance of systemic reforms promised by Modi.At the root of the malaise is an oversized, outdated and lethargic bureaucracy. Narendra Modi coined two powerful slogans as Prime Minister aspirant.To the masses he promised “acche din”; to the classes he assured “minimum government, maximum governance”.Halfway into his term both remain empty promises.In fact, Nitin Gadkari, a Union minister, even described the slogan as a “millstone” around the Modi government’s neck.“No one ever feels the good days have arrived,” he added, implying that “good days” were an impossible dream.He is wrong.Better days are not only badly required but imminently attainable.But for that Modi will have to launch a systemic overhaul. ...

    Indian Express on Sept. 17, 2016, midnight

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    ... At some of the most crucial junctures in our democratic history, courts have interpreted our constitution to incarnate our founders’ ideals and aspirations to the present generation.In the Kesavananda Bharati case, the Supreme Court (SC) invented the Doctrine of Basic Structure, preventing the basic features of our Constitution from being mutilated by elected despots.In ‘Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India’, the SC gave the widest possible interpretation of the right to life and personal liberty and expanded the horizons of free speech.In the P.J.Thomas case, Justice S.H.Kapadia laid out the doctrine of institutional integrity.Most recently, in the NJAC case, the Supreme Court preserved the independence of the judiciary and admitted the need to improve the collegium system.But there are also judgements where the courts, by resorting to a literal and narrow interpretation, have endangered the spirit of democracy and basic constitutional values. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 6, 2016, 12:30 a.m.