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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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The Constitution Strengthened and Weakened

The Constitution Strengthened and Weakened

(p.498) Chapter 24 The Constitution Strengthened and Weakened
Working a Democratic Constitution

Granville Austin

Oxford University Press

The Constitution and the ability of the judiciary to protect it gained and lost ground in the years of Indira Gandhi's return. Scepticism greeted her government's policies affecting the judiciary, national security, and civil liberty, despite that they may have been well intended. The Supreme Court's reaffirmation of the basic structure doctrine in the Minerva Mills case restored the balance between the judiciary and the legislature and definitively gave the Constitution the protection of judicial review. However, during these years, the government's resort to preventive detention and its enactment of other repressive legislation diminished constitutional liberties and the courts' ability to protect them. The Prime Minister had not left all her authoritarian tendencies behind.

Keywords:   Minerva Mills, Indian Constitution, Indira Gandhi, judicial review, constitutional liberties

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