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2 J. Indian L. & Soc'y [i] (2010-2011)

handle is hein.journals/jindlas2 and id is 1 raw text is: EDITORIAL NOTE

Public Participation and Accountability: Signs of a
Maturing Democracy
Over the last few years, the four pillars of our democracy- the legislature,
the executive, thejudiciary and the media have been tainted by frequent
allegations of corruption and their credibility called into serious question.
The cash-for-votes scam, the continuing controversy over 2-G spectrum,
Commonwealth Games fiasco, corruption within the rungs of higher
judiciary and the Radia tapes episode, collectively mark not just a
shameful ebb in Indian politics but also hide a deep crisis of constitutional
values and public ethics. Together they present an authoritative challenge
to the success of Indian democracy, symbolising the significant challenges
of accountability and legitimacy that need to be met. Corruption has
truly enveloped the horizons of our public institutions, embedding itself
in every office, revealing itself at every file. The vast expanse which
corruption commands now must compel us consider these moments
seriously as they mask a significant threat to the institution of Indian
democracy and the constitutional values that have shaped its unique
The constitutional values, as envisaged by our founding fathers, of
secularism, equality, justice, liberty and human dignity amongst others
have endured the first sixty-two years of the Indian Republic. These
values have until now remained intact for the most part due to the delicate
balance of powers and arrangements of accountability struck in the
constitutional design, the commitment of the Indian populace and the
contribution of a free and fair Indian press. This balance bears testimony
to the ideal of accountability that is critically instrumental in sustaining
the spirit of our democracy. Accountability is not an external principle
and is embodied in our constitutional scheme of separation of powers.
Thus, the demands for the creation of an institution of Lokpal must not
be understood as demands for supplanting the existing structure. Any
movement that seeks to safeguard accountability must be consistent
with constitutional principles else it runs the risk ofundermining the same
values it seeks to affirm.

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