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Working a Democratic ConstitutionA History of the Indian Experience$
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Granville Austin

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195656107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195656107.001.0001

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Two Catalytic Defeats

Two Catalytic Defeats

(p.209) Chapter 9 Two Catalytic Defeats
Working a Democratic Constitution

Granville Austin

Oxford University Press

Exercised though the Prime Minister and her government were over the Golak Nath decision and their inability to overcome it through the Nath Pai Bill, two subsequent Supreme Court decisions challenged the government even more sharply: the Bank Nationalization case (Cooper's case) and the Privy Purses case (Prince's case or Madhav Rao Scindia's case). Rights to property were at the heart of both. The government was also stung, in the privy purses matter, by the failure of its constitution-amending bill. These defeats, cumulative with Golak Nath, were the direct progenitors of three amendments. The government's framing of these amendments reveals much about its internal processes, including their constitutionality. Social revolutionary aims and personal ambitions again were in collision with the distribution of powers in the Constitution. Nationalizing banks and ending the privy purses of rulers of the former princely states were populist tools in Indira Gandhi's battle for dominance.

Keywords:   Bank Nationalization, Privy Purses, Madhav Rao Scindia, Golak Nath, Indian Supreme Court, Indira Gandhi

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