DEMOCRACIES ON THE SLIDE
BACKGROUND | V-Dem Institute at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg published ‘Democracy Report 2022: Autocratisation Changing Nature?’
Key finding | democracy enjoyed by the average global citizen in 2021 is down to 1989 levels.
INDIA'S RANKING| Ranked 93rd in the Liberal Democracy Index, India figures in the “bottom 50%” of countries.
Democracy under Constitution
PREAMBLE OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA | The preamble constitutes India into a Democratic Republic.
Practical Implication | Equality among the individuals+ head of the State elected by the people.
BASIC STRUCTURE: Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala –Basic feature of constitution cannot be amended
S.R Bommai v. UOI | Democracy essential feature of our constitution
PRESCRIBING UNIFORM IN SCHOOLS DOES NOT VIOLATE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, STUDENTS CANNOT OBJECT TO IT: HC
CASE TITLE: Smt. Resham and Ors v. State of Karntaka and Ors, WP No. 2347 of 2022
BACKGROUND: Government Pre-university College for Girls, Udupi, directed the students to follow a particular dress code in the College.
The issue | Claimed to be violation of their ‘fundamental right to practice essential religious practices, including wearing of Hijab (head scarf) as per Islamic faith.
DECISION: The High Court dismissed the writ petition.
KEY OBSERVATIONS BY THE HIGH COURT
(i) Prescription of dress code does not offends students’ fundamental right to expression or their autonomy.
(ii) There is absolutely no scope for complaint of manifest arbitrariness or discrimination inter alia under Articles 14 & 15, when the dress code is equally applicable to all the students, regardless of religion, language, gender or the like.
(iii) Nobody disputes that persons have a host of rights that are constitutionally guaranteed in varying degrees and they are subject to reasonable restrictions.
(iv) The prescription of school uniform is only a reasonable restriction