"Constitution has not failed us; rather we have failed the constitution"
Contemporary history unmistakably shows that the hallmark of free people is to give themselves a document called a constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Whether it is lengthy or small, its supremacy is undisputed. Its majesty is beyond question even in those nations where it is unwritten. It can be the outcome of violent or non-violent struggle for freedom. Even autocracies are found to require some document resembling constitution in order to justify them. It is in accordance with this document that Nations/States are constituted and comes into existence. It lays down the structure of the government, establishes the authority of its various organs and balances their powers inter se as well as vis-à-vis people.
However, constitution is not only law but goes beyond. People regard it as an expression of their aspirations from the State constituted by them. Constitution therefore, is rightly regarded as a living law. Aspirations of the people change from one generation to another generation. Therefore, constitutions across the nations are accordingly amended and enriched by the experiences gained by people over generations.
It is the constitutional function of the higher judiciary to interpret the constitutional text. In discharge of this function, courts across the globe, have shaped the destiny of the nations through their insightful interpretations thereof.
Like any other constitution, the text of the Indian constitution had a particular context. The uniqueness of Indian diversity and its unparalleled social structure made the task of framing constitution extremely daunting. Despite all the obstacles, the Constituent Assembly drafted the constitution by incorporating the best practices available in the constitutions of the other countries tailoring it to suit the needs and realities of Indian society. It paved the path for silent social revolution in India. Unlike British constitution where parliamentary sovereignty reigned supreme, it has placed all the organs of the state on the same footing establishing the rule of law. However, needless to say, that confidence of Indian masses in the constitutional values has been put to severe test as the nation has matured after independence.
Common people interact with the State as a matter of routine through the executive wing. They are the ones who implement the Parliamentary will and they are also the ones who implement judicial dicta. Best of the laws and best of the judgments can be rendered futile if fallen in inefficient hands. Quality of the Executive has a direct bearing on the day to day life of the people. Therefore, there is a paramount need for the Executives to be fair, transparent and most importantly, accountable in their dealings with the people. Constitution accords them protection, however, a well-developed Administrative jurisprudence is a sine qua none for particularly those societies which have massive poverty and illiteracy. Mechanisms for Parliamentary and Judicial control of administrative actions have been developed in India like elsewhere. However, their efficacy is more and more put to strict scrutiny.
There are challenges from within and without. All the three organs of the State find themselves under severe pressure to perform due to rising rights consciousness amongst the Indian masses. And they must deliver while being transparent. Further, the emerging New World Order with the likes of World Trade Organization (WTO) presents unprecedented challenges for the constitutions across the globe. Debate is on if the world is ready for a global constitution and global administrative law. It is in this backdrop that the Centre for constitutional and administrative Law (CCAL) is established at Gujarat National Law University to conduct dedicated research in various areas of constitutional and administrative law. It will promote understanding of the Indian Constitution and Administrative Law from various perspectives – legal, political, social, economic, historical etc.
- To understand the evolving trends in the discourse on comparative constitution in the world.
- To appreciate the judicial approach towards further enriching the constitutional text across the world.
- To help in the formulation of Government policies and legislations by sending recommendations to the concerned agencies.
- To identify the training needs and to provide training to MPs/MLAs, judges, advocates, bureaucrats, civil society organizations etc. on various issues of constitutional and administrative law.
- To bring various stakeholders on one forum to share their views and experiences relating to the working of the constitution
- To provide avenue for students to freely express their views on challenges to the constitution.
- To provide a platform to the students to hone their research skills on the various issues pertaining to constitutional Law.
- To sensitize all the three wings of the State as well as media towards the constitutional commitments for marginalized sections – SCs, STs, OBCs, Women, minorities, SEBCs.
- To enhance the understanding and utility of constitutional rights and duties among the masses.
- To encourage inter-disciplinary research on issues concerning constitution and administrative law.
- To organize national and international conferences, seminars, workshops etc. on issues of global significance for constitutional and administrative law.
- To publish an annual journal covering various contemporary issues of constitutional and administrative law.
- To conduct essay writing competitions at an international as well as national level.
- To organize international moot court competitions on problems of constitutional and administrative law.
- To deliberate upon and analyze leading judicial decisions relating to constitutional and administrative law from different jurisdictions.
- To organize quizzes, debates etc. to generate interests of the students in constitutional and administrative law.
- To invite experts (judges, eminent advocates, renowned scholars, bureaucrats, social activists etc.) to deliver lectures on issues of contemporary significance for better understanding of nuances thereof.
- To come out with an in-house monthly newsletter regarding the recent developments in Constitutional and administrative Law.
- To conduct training programmes for various stakeholders.
- To organize on regular basis discussion forum inviting experts.
- Extend support to the government’s decision making process through preparation of reports on the policy scenario in question and providing research inputs to aid in decision making.
- To foster interaction between various organs of the government and civil society on issues dealing with constitution.
- To spread legal awareness amongst the common people in society.
- To participate in coaching activity.
- To give consultancy to interested agencies on problems of constitutional administrative law.
- To offer advisory services.
CENTER ADVISORY MEMBERS
- Hon'ble Mrs. Justice Ruma Pal, Former Judge, Supreme Court Of India
- Hon'ble Mr. Justice C. K. Thakker, Former Judge, Supreme Court Of India
- Mr. Bhaskar Tanna, Senior Advocate, Gujarat High Court
CENTER FACULTY MEMBERS
- Mr. Avinash Bhagi
- Mr. DivyaTyagi
- Mr. Sashi Buhshan Sharma
CENTER STUDENT MEMBERS
- Nidhi Tiwari
- Sristhi Vaishanav
- Sankeerth Vittal
- Shubha Jindel
- Shivansh Jolly
- Shreesha K S
- Srikanth Bhaskar
- Saumya Satwara
- Sai Saranya Hariharan
- Priyanka Venkatasubramanian
- Misha Patel
- Muhammad Isa Hakim
- Saumya Bajpai
- Roselina Roby
- Shivdutt Trivedi
- Roshni Ranganathan
- Chaitra. S
- Samikshya Thapa
- Manasa Saka
- Prachi Panchal
- Hatim Hussain
Last Updated : 25-07-2016