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Showing posts from May, 2010

No to narcoanalysis...(Selvi vs State of Karnataka)

THE Supreme Court's approach to matters of national security has long been guided by “minimalism” – a doctrine that enables the court to settle pending disputes rather than articulate deeper constitutional principles. When confronted with competing claims of national security and Fundamental Rights, the court has played the role of a mediator rather than a guardian of Fundamental Rights. In doing so, it has shown more concern for procedural safeguards and compliance rather than addressing substantive issues. Whenever anti-terror laws have been challenged before it, the Supreme Court has deferred to the legislative branch. It has, to cite a few instances, upheld the validity of the Preventive Detention Act, 1950, the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985 and 1987, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002. The court's attitude to cases of national security represents a paradox. In most other cases, the court has sought to maximise liberty. Many l…