SHIVANI KAUSHIK Vs. UNION OF INDIA
HIGH COURT OF PATNA
UNION OF INDIA
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Sanjay Karol, C.J. -
(1.) This order is in continuation of our order No.19 dated 12.05.2021.
(2.) The Constitution Bench (Five Judge) of the Hon ble Apex Court in State (NCT of Delhi) Vs. Union of India, 2018 8 SCC 501 , while elaborately dealing with the concepts of democracy; democratic spirit; representative participation; constitutional morality and values; constitutional governance and executives; parliamentary democracy and collective responsibility of cabinet; democracy and federalism; constitutional objectivity; constitutional responsibility; collaborative federalism; pragmatic federalism; constitutional renaissance, inter alia observed that:
.....The main purpose of a representative Government is to represent the public will, perception and the popular sentiment into policies. The representatives, thus, act on behalf of the people at large and remain accountable to the people for their activities as lawmakers. Therefore, representative form of governance comes out as a device to bring to fore the popular will. The Constitution of India has embraced the representative model of governance at all levels i.e. local, State and the Union. Thus perceived, the people are the sovereign since they exercise the power of adult franchise that ultimately builds the structure of representative democracy. ......
Mere existence of a Constitution, by itself, does not ensure constitutionalism or a constitutional culture. It is the political maturity and traditions of a people that import meaning to a Constitution which otherwise merely embodies political hopes and ideals. ...
Fundamental human freedoms limit the authority of the State. Yet the role of institutions in achieving democracy is as significant. Nations fail when institutions of governance fail. The responsiveness of institutions is determined in a large measure by their ability to be receptive to differences and perceptive to the need for constant engagement and dialogue. Constitutional skirmishes are not unhealthy. They test the resilience of democracy. How good a system works in practice must depend upon the statesmanship of those who are in decision-making positions within them.
(3.) Our discussion with Sri Lalit Kishore, learned Advocate General, Bihar as instructed by Sri Amir Subhani, Development Commissioner, Bihar and Sri Santosh Kumar Mall, Secretary, Department of Information and Technology, Government of Bihar, Patna has resulted in our conclusion that the Government, be it for whatever reason, is most reluctant to put in the public domain the number of deaths which occurred in Bihar during the last one year, i.e. during the time of Pandemic Covid-19. In our considered view, the resistance is uncalled for, for such action is neither protected by any law nor in consonance with good governance's settled principles. The Government, while correcting its myopic approach, only needs a reminder that To cover with veil of secrecy, the common routine business, is not in the interest of the public. Such secrecy can seldom be legitimately desired. is what Hon ble the Supreme Court had said in State of U.P. v. Raj Narain, 1975 4 SCC 428.;
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