Capital controls against FDI in aviation: An example of bad governance in India

When the coercive power of the State is wielded by the executive, this should be accompanied by appropriate checks and balances. Good practice in regulatory governance requires that when regulators wish to make changes to regulations, and thus affect the rights of private parties, the regulators must furnish reasons for making those changes. This increases transparency, predictability, and accountability.

Sharing post on how the Indian Constitution and PSUs conflict

I have a post on Prof. Ajay Shah’s blog discussing how the constitution prevents PSUs from taking pure commercial decisions from their very inception: Click Here.

Sex Work and the Law: A Case for Nuanced Debate

The debate over legalization vs decriminalization of prostitution is in the public domain with reports that the National Commission for Women has recommended legalization to the Supreme Court appointed panel for rehabilitation of sex workers. The panel, formed in 2011 when the Supreme Court suo motu converted a criminal appeal relating to a murder of a sex worker intoContinue reading “Sex Work and the Law: A Case for Nuanced Debate”

Treasure Hunting

I have a recent piece in the Indian Express on the misplaced prioritisation on bringing back black money. The op-ed can be found here.  The piece is reproduced below. ————————————————– Suppose you are the government of a country badly in need of gold, but with only Rs 100 with which to get some. You haveContinue reading “Treasure Hunting”

My paper on parliamentary oversight in India

My paper proposing a framework for Parliamentary Oversight in India has been published in the NUJS Law Review (link). A brief description of the paper:  “ The need for a strong monitoring mechanism of the Executive in India has been made clearer by recent allegations of corruption against high-ranking officials of the central government. TheContinue reading “My paper on parliamentary oversight in India”

Post on revising the regulatory framework for FDI and capital controls

I have a co-authored post on the reforming the FDI regulatory framework in India on Ajay Shah’s blog here. The post was published on April 21, 2014, and has been co-authored by me, Ajay Shah, and Arjun Rajagopal. The post is being reproduced below.    Capital controls against FDI in aviation: An example of bad governanceContinue reading “Post on revising the regulatory framework for FDI and capital controls”

Putting Carts Before Horses. And How?

This post was first published by Humorlessindianlawyer.blogspot.in on April 8, 2014. Imagine, living in India with a Parliament that makes laws, an executive that implements these laws and a court system that interprets these laws. Now, imagine Parliament making the following law: Right to regulate all Economic Activities Completely Act, 2014 Section 1. This ActContinue reading “Putting Carts Before Horses. And How?”

Constituency-wise Manifestoes, their regulation and consequences

1 Introduction Today’s Mint carries an article on how political parties have increasingly moved to a system of “localised” manifestoes for the 2014 general election. This is a significant trend that began with Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi election campaign where it released local manifestoes for each assembly constituency (link). The BJP followed suit in Delhi, and according toContinue reading “Constituency-wise Manifestoes, their regulation and consequences”

Foreign direct investment in railways: Does national security matter?

This post has been written by Mr. Pratik Datta. Background Present Indian laws ’prohibit’ foreign direct investment (FDI) in railways (other than mass rapid transport system). Of late there has been growing expectation that the Indian Government might allow 100% FDI in construction and maintenance of railway projects (but not in operations). Suddenly the optimismContinue reading “Foreign direct investment in railways: Does national security matter?”

AAP Governance:The dangerous and regressive fight over Electricity pricing

1 Introduction The Aam Aadmi Party led Delhi Government has (link) slashed power tariffs in Delhi, and is in the midst of an ongoing tussle (link) with Reliance owned discom BSES over the supply of electricity in certain parts of Delhi. The AAP, even before taking the reins of the Delhi Government had long accused the Delhi discoms of overchargingContinue reading “AAP Governance:The dangerous and regressive fight over Electricity pricing”

Interesting reads: Media, merit vs. communism, and elections 2013

Some good stuff to read this week: Vinod K. Jose in Caravan on the lack of a larger philosophical framework for the Indian media to operate within: “Habits of Mind” Nobel Laureate physicist Walter Kohn remembers one-time partner, Indian physicist Chanchal Kumar Majumdar in “A master and his protege“. Pratap Bhanu Mehta’s engaging piece onContinue reading “Interesting reads: Media, merit vs. communism, and elections 2013”

Bangalore ATM Attack and police abdication

A woman bank manager was brutally attacked yesterday while inside an ATM in Bangalore yesterday. Apart from the gruesome attack on the lady, what has been bizarrely shocking has been the response of the police to the same. Facts: On Nov. 20, a woman, who is also a bank manager (not clear if she wasContinue reading “Bangalore ATM Attack and police abdication”

Introducing the Indian Public Administration Lexicon or “iPal”*

iPal is an attempt to make comprehensible certain words that sound familiar, but mean something entirely different when used in Indian governance and politics. 1. Aam Aadmi: Rich people who dress badly. 2. Public interest: a) Interest of Aam aadmi. b) source of power to override law, constitution, logic, reason, everything. 3. Subsidy: Screw youContinue reading “Introducing the Indian Public Administration Lexicon or “iPal”*”

What entities are public authorities under the RTI Act?

The text below is from my brief titled “Who is a Public Authority under the Right to Information Act, 2005?” as published on the website of Accountability Initiative, published in September 2013. The brief can be accessed here.   The definition of ‘public authorities’ under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (“RTI Act”) has been anContinue reading “What entities are public authorities under the RTI Act?”

State Building in India II: Indian Constitution and new states

I had written this post in 2009 when Telengana first became a major political issue. I am re-posting it since major decisions about the creation of Telengana are underway. Minor edits and updates have been made and are provided in italics.  In my earlier post on the issue of Telengana’s statehood, I tried to provideContinue reading “State Building in India II: Indian Constitution and new states”

Back to blog!

Dear All! Welcome back. I have been away from the blog for a while, but have decided to renew blogging actively again. I hope to give you interesting stuff to read once or twice every week, and engage you in some sort of debate on the stuff I write. So please let me know ifContinue reading “Back to blog!”

My article in Seminar Magazine on Parliamentary obstruction

Following is the article I wrote for Seminar Magazine (May 2013 issue) as a response to a piece on obstructions in Parliament:  Communication   AN article in the February 2013 issue of Seminar titled ‘The Real Price of Parliamentary Obstruction’ by Tarunabh Khaitan highlights the issue of recent obstructionism in Parliament and elaborates on its attendant consequences.Continue reading “My article in Seminar Magazine on Parliamentary obstruction”

Can “civil” society also reform the state?

-writing from Harvard Law School.   Over the last few months, people have either whole-heartedly supported Ana Hazare’s crusade against corruption, or have cautioned against the dangers of un-deliberated actions by civil society. Some have also taken pains to highlight how the movement is seemingly undemocratic.  One of the most interesting analyses I read ofContinue reading “Can “civil” society also reform the state?”

Local Government II: Central government and local bodies

The central government does not have a direct role to play in the functioning of municipal bodies.  It however releases funds to state governments annually for urban development.  These funds are released based on the recommendations of the Central Finance Commission’s report. The central government also has a role in municipal administration by promoting urbanContinue reading “Local Government II: Central government and local bodies”

What is a true welfare state?

This post tries to pen down my recent pre-occupation with the concept of the ‘welfare state’ as we understand in India.  The dominant story of our democracy through the last 60 years has been of bringing the majority of our population out of poverty, and providing them a social security net.  Even the economic reformsContinue reading “What is a true welfare state?”

Selective transparency: CAG Reports on Defence

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India audits the accounts and performance of government ministries, departments, and various schemes that are being run in the country.  It is a body set up under the Constitution of India (Article 148), and its reports have to be tabled in Parliament (Article 151).  A report or document tabledContinue reading “Selective transparency: CAG Reports on Defence”

How much does a Supreme Court judgement cost?

“What kind of impact do some judgements have on the finances of the government?”  In this post, I propose to look at this question using a judgement delivered in April 2009.  In the course of this post, I also argue that judges should refrain from delivering judgements which have huge financial and policy implications, asContinue reading “How much does a Supreme Court judgement cost?”

India v. China III: Current Flashpoints

In this post, I very briefly summarise the current flashpoints between India and China.  I am also mentioning 10 points about the strategic interests of both countries in the Indian Ocean, as we tend to overlook that in most discussions on border disputes. Jammu and Kashmir – Since India was invaded by China in 1962,Continue reading “India v. China III: Current Flashpoints”

India v. China II: Tibet

For this entry, I decided to look into the question of Tibet, and came across references to a meeting very few have heard of.  It was probably the last meeting at an international forum that Tibet represented itself as an independent country. The meeting I refer to is called the Asian Relations Conference of 1947.Continue reading “India v. China II: Tibet”

India v. China I: Early on

Beginning today, I am planning to write a series of posts on relations between India and China.  I mainly intend to summarise facts and opinions which are being talked about, rather than formulate my own opinions.  My sources are mostly going to be newspaper articles and so on, and also government information, whenever possible.  InContinue reading “India v. China I: Early on”

Judging our judges

Today’s post is an article appearing in the Indian Express, concerning the condition of judges in our country: In defence of their lordships (Indian Express) GOPAL SANKARANARAYANAN Posted online: Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 0250 hrs On September 1 2009, Neeraj Kishan Kaul stepped down as a judge of the Delhi High Court — aContinue reading “Judging our judges”

Drugs Hurricane in one of the richest states in the Country

The cover-story of a recent issue of COVERT magazine provides an alarming picture of drug-abuse in Punjab (‘THE DRUGS HURRICANE OF PUNJAB‘).  To quote some statistics: 1. 16% of the population of Punjab is hooked to hard drugs. 2. As of 2000, 67% of rural households in Punjab had at least one drug addict inContinue reading “Drugs Hurricane in one of the richest states in the Country”

Amount of freedom in the world

This is from a link a colleague forwarded.  A group called Freedom House has just completed a ‘Freedom in the World 2010‘ survey.  Here are a couple of graphs from their work: The graphs show, (1) the number of democracies in the world today are the least since 1996, and (2) the percentage of electoralContinue reading “Amount of freedom in the world”

Ruchika and the Indian Visa embargo

Two new op-eds in Indian Express offer substantial views on the issues discussed in the last entry: Call off the mob Article on the Ruchika case highlighting the following issues: (1) the easy acceptance of injustice in society, (2) the systemic failure which prompts the Union Law Minister to say one particular case should beContinue reading “Ruchika and the Indian Visa embargo”

State building in India – I

The re-organisation of states in India may not simply be a question of giving voice to the aspirations of neglected groups within a specific region of the country.  It is also a question of whether such a group will be able to form capable institutions of administration to reap the benefits of statehood.  This isContinue reading “State building in India – I”

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