Thursday 29 January 2015

National Conference on Constitutional Appointments: Vignettes and Vicissitudes organised by School of Law

The School of Law, Christ University hosted its 5th National Conference this year. The theme of the conference Constitutional Appointments: Vignettes and Vicissitudes was selected with a foresight to bring the much required attention of lawyers, law students, academicians, professionals and the whole of legal fraternity to the metamorphosis and debated scenes happening today in  various offices appointed under the Indian Constitution.

The theme was further sub divided into 4 sub themes:
1.    Judicial Appointments: Retrospect and Prospect 
2.    Appointment of Governors: Implications for Federalism
3.    Intelligence and Investigative Agencies: Lack of Constitutional Mandates
4.    Judiciary’s Perspectives on Constitutional Appointments.

The sub themes were framed with an object to understand important issues:
  • The first sub theme was framed with an object to understand that- In the cycle of governance the role of the judiciary is of paramount importance. The role of the judiciary is not just to enforce the law but to protect the interests of the human society which cannot be achieved without a robust and independent judiciary. Keeping with the spirit of the independence of the Judiciary, the collegium of the corresponding Court plays the decisive role in judicial appointments. But time and again issues of non-transparency in the appointments to the judiciary especially when it comes to appointments in the higher judiciary have come to public domain.
  • The Second sub theme was framed with an object to understand that- Governor acts as a defender of the Constitution. He owes an undivided allegiance to the “Constitution and the Law” while undertaking the obligation to devote himself to the service and well being of the people. But over the years we have seen that Criticism has been levelled that the Union Government utilizes the Governor for its own political ends. Lately, it has also been observed that many Governors came to regard themselves as the agents of ruling party rather than the guardians of federal democracy. This sub theme was to analyse the position of Governor as the Constitutional head of the state in the backdrop of federalism.

  • The third sub theme was framed with an object to understand that- The legitimacy and the effectiveness of intelligence agencies are best served where agencies make a clear distinction between the state and regime—though the state is, of course, represented by the transient regime. Legitimate intelligence operations serve the interests of the constitutional state, and are required to resist subordination to the partisan interests of particular regimes from time to time. National security and constitutional values are the touchstone against which legitimacy is to be defined. Intelligence agencies discredit themselves by misdirection; by providing false, misleading and ‘convenient’ intelligence—intelligence that conforms, not to the realities of the ground, but to the expectations of the political executive and other ‘consumers’; or by their willingness to lend themselves to partisan political abuse of powers, or to political and electoral manipulation.

With these beliefs and concern, School of Law, embarked its journey of a two day enlightening and mind storming National Conference on 13th of January 2015. The inaugural ceremony was presided over by Mr.T.R.Andhyarujina, Senior Counsel Supreme Court of India. He was the former solicitor general of India and former advocate general of Maharashtra. He has appeared in some of the Landmark cases of the Supreme court: such as Kesavananada Bharti v. State of Kerala, the Parlimamentary Privilege Case, Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan, S.R.Bommai v Union of India and many more.

The guest of honours were:
  • D.R.Karthikeyan who is an IPS officer from Tamil Nadu, and former Director General of National Human Rights Commission and Former Special Director of CBI
  • And Mr.Krishna Dixit, Standing Counsel, Election Commission of India and Former Assistant Solicitor General of India.
We were fortunate to have such eminent guests inaugurating the National Conference and making it a grand success.

The two days conference has seen a total of 209 participants from 49 institutions across the Nation. 

On the first day, that is 13th of January there was 3 sessions throughout the day, spread across 8-9 rooms. There was a total of 101 paper presentations by 179 participants who were students as well academicians.

The sessions of the Conference was presided by 24 moderators who are Lawyers and Professors in Constitutional Law. The moderators engaged in fruitful interactive discussions with the participants after every session.

The second day of the Conference had 1 session spread across 5 rooms. There was a total of    19 paper presentations by 30 participants.

The sessions of the Conference was presided by 9 moderators who are Practising Lawyers and Professors in Constitutional Law. Prof.V.S.Mallar who was also the Chief Guest for the valedictory ceremony moderated one of the session.


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