Government pulled up for not replying to plea on treaties

September 4th, 2008 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 4 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday pulled up the central government for not submitting its response to a petition that has sought to restrain it from entering into international treaties, including the India-US nuclear deal, without parliamentary approval. A bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S. Muralidhar granted the government the last opportunity to file its reply by Nov 12.

“It is not a routine matter and the Centre should be made aware about the serious issue involved in the case,” it said.

The court was hearing a public interest petition filed by Shivkant Jha, an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, questioning the constitutional competence of the government to enter into treaties with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and going ahead with the India-US nuclear deal without the approval of parliament.

The petitioner also questioned the constitutionality of India’s acceptance of the obligations under the WTO without parliamentary consent.

He cited the findings of the Report of the People’s Commission on General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), prepared by a committee consisting of former Supreme Court and high court judges, which said: “Our acceptance and ratification of the Uruguay Round Final Act was clearly unconstitutional.”

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