Kewal Krishan Sethi
The National Commission to review the working of the Constitution (NCRWC) also known as Justice Manepalli Narayana Rao Venkatachaliah Commission was set up by a resolution of the NDA Government of India led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee on 22 February 2000 for suggesting possible amendments to the Constitution of India. Nothing came of it (except that I benefitted by getting a constitutional post – but that is another story). When I went through the old papers, (thanks to the COVID lockdown), I came across a writeup about it that was written when facebook was no where in sight. I thought i will update it and put it on facebook but going through it once more, found there was nothing to be updated as things have not changed much. So here it is, as it was twenty years ago – Introduction by KK Sethi to what he posted on his facebook page – “Meri Bhi Suno”. (Also listen to what I am saying)
Republished below is the facebook post by Mr Sethi.
Finally the commission to review the constitution has been notified. The terms of reference are very innocuous. The composition is also guaranteed to produce innocuous recommendations. After promising much the NDA government developed cold feet and said that it does not want to review the fundamentals of the Constitution. The Indian Constitution was authored by the lawyers who had nothing but ifs and buts on their minds. In fact this was nothing more than the rehash of the government of India act 1935 with some pious wishes from Irish, united states, and the French Constitutions thrown in which were then hedged with so many provisos that the entire exercise became meaningless. No wonder the Constitution had to undergo some eighty amendments in 50 years. It has produced nothing but chaos around. The Constitution really merited a total review with no pre-conditions but this could not be achieved. It is said in some quarters that because of the lack of suitable majority in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, the exercise for a fuller review of the constitution was postponed. As the Parliament stands today, with the opposition blocking the proceedings on insignificant issues and treasury benches standing by helplessly, there is little chance that amendment to Constitution except for the concessions to a voting bank have any chance of being passed. In any case it will be for the people of India to vote on in the next elections whenever they are held. Therefore this excuse holds little water. It should have been a more honest exercise.
It is worthwhile to see what the Constitution has achieved in the last 50 years of its existence. Even the most ardent believer in the Constitution will agree that it failed to deliver the goods. The criminals have more or less taken over the administration. Corruption has become the way of life. Petty crimes are not even reported let alone checked. There is a nexus between the powers that count with the result that no person considered powerful has been punished. Cases drag on for years. The criminals continue to have a free run and carry on with their nefarious activities with no fear of law. The elections are mockery of the process with booth capturing, bogus voting being the order of the day. Democracy has been reduced to a farce with the periodical voting being the only redeeming feature. In between, the politician does what he pleases. The elections have been won and lost over petty issues like the price of onions. The terrorist is not only free to act, he is even guaranteed full calorie meals, should he be surrounded by the army and the police. The life goes merrily on even as a vast section of India’s population continues to live below the poverty line.
One of the most disturbing features is that the Constitution does not control any one. Everyone is free to act as he pleases. The members of the Legislature, meant to vote on the laws which should govern the polity choose to be administrative officers, in charge of transfers, postings, distribution of patronage and so on. The MP has a fund of Rs. One Crore (or is it Rs. two Crores now) to spend as he feels fit. The MLA is having five lakhs or so to spend on the schemes of his liking. The judiciary, charged by the Constitution with adjudication duties, lays down the laws. It takes over the investigation of the crimes e.g. the havala scandal (incidentally the same judiciary acquitted everyone in the havala scandal on the basis of lack of evidence without bothering to ensure the investigation was thorough and watertight). It takes on the issues of pollution, environment, cruelty toward animals and other extraneous issues. The so-called social reforms are not carried out in the field with dedication, devotion and the sense of duty towards the fellow beings. It is carried out in the courts with skill of oration, legal niceties and an ever present eye towards publicity that the individual can get out of the issue. The judiciary sanctions itself new pay-scales, new pension rules, new perks, increases its own age of retirement, lays down its own scheme of law without regard to Constitution or the government of the day. In order to give itself more powers it creates the myth of inviolable parts of the Constitution. The election Commission, meant by the Constitution to conduct the elections in accordance with the laws laid down by Parliament, instead chooses to reform the electoral law, imposing all sorts of restrictions on electioneering, even trying to decide what should be or should not be the issues in the elections.
And yet we are told that even to think of review of the Constitution is abominable. Some of the parts are declared sacred. They cannot be touched. They are basics of the Constitution that must stay. Who made them so? Certainly the Constituent Assembly, founded in November 1946, laid no such conditions. It also must be remembered that the members of the constituent assembly had very little moral right to do so. They were not even elected on the basis of the universal suffrage. Many of those elected went to Pakistan after the Partition. Certainly none of the organisations created by the Constitution can claim to be superior to the Constitution and decide what is and what is not the intention behind the Constitution. This is merely arrogating to themselves the powers which they do not possess. It is grabbing what you can if no one is looking. This is the basic weakness of the Constitution and that is why it has to go lock, stock and barrel.
The review of the Constitution should be total, comprehensive and thorough with no regard to what individuals may think about it. In fact it a matter of pity that the review of Constitution is being looked upon with political eyes only. Even those who had set up Swaran Singh Committee to review the Constitution are speaking of agitations and protests to prevent the review of the Constitution. They talk against the presidential form of the government. They impose preconditions. This cannot be acceptable. The people are supreme. They must assert themselves and their rights. We must have a Constitution which delivers, which does not protect the unscrupulous politician, corrupt officers, self-serving judiciary, all kinds of criminals, obnoxious terrorists, the destructive obscurantists, the masquerading progressives and the fissiparous activists.
The basic requirement of the Constitution is that it should deliver. The present one has failed to do so. The first thing to be considered is the democratic values. In a democracy the voice of the people has to be supreme. Democracy does not mean mere periodical voting. We know that even in the so-called people’s democracies the periodical voting was there and the candidates of the ruling parties used to get 98 to 99 percent of the votes on a regular basis. History has shown how democratic they were. Much the same is happening in India also. The polling every five years has nothing to do with the issues before the people. With a view to keep the people ignorant, there is conspiracy not to educate them about the real issues. The non-issues are only talked about. Whoever talks about what is the stand of any given party in relation to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). This is considered to be an issue beyond the intelligence of the electorate. In fact even now the politician is talking about consensus on the issue without ever spelling out what is the point around which consensus is to be built. Finally it is going to be a bargain between two political parties the quid pro quo will be something totally unrelated to the CTBT. Perhaps it may be the withdrawal of charges against Rajiv Gandhi. Much the same thing happened in relation to the Dunkel Draft for the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT). The public was never taken into confidence. There should be an atmosphere in which the issues are discussed in the open without there being hush hush agreements to push this or that issue without debate. The politician does not want his stand to be known to anyone. He issues manifestoes only as a token gesture. It never binds him to anything. The party which introduced the words ‘socialist’ in the constitution then goes on to advocate globalization and privatization without seeking a fresh mandate or seeking to change the Constitution once again doing away with the sanctimonious word.
The first and the foremost thing to be ensured is the inalienable right of the people to vote with knowledge and certainty and for the issues in which they have been fully involved. It is a matter of common knowledge that the persons are more concerned with things immediate and closer at home. This is why Gandhi talked about the basic unit of administration being the village and the community. A brief analysis will convince everyone that the voting percentage in the local elections is much more than that in the elections for the remote legislature. The voter not only knows the person he is voting for but also the issues he is voting for. The Constitution must therefore put greatest attention towards this aspect. Rajiv Gandhi, for whatever reason, put the local institutions in the Constitution and granted them that status which was denied to them by the framers of the Constitution. This needs to be strengthened and should become the fundamental requirement. The elections must not only be held but held at a given time. Reference has been made earlier to the need to separate the executive functions from the legislative functions. The exercise of this separation should start from the basic unit of democracies i.e. the local institutions. The mayor or the sarpanch should be directly elected and should be in charge of the administration with no ifs and buts about it. The elected council, also directly elected, should exercise check and balance and should have control over him. They are there for the enactment of laws and for laying down the policies. To remove interference and arbitrariness, the elections should be held at fixed intervals, say two years, which is as good an interval as any. With such a short interval there will be no need to provide for the system of recall. Their tenure as elected representatives will be not long enough to ignore the electors thus effectively ensuring public participation and responsive administration.
The point will arise as to how this body can be made financially and administratively viable. Presently, the village is considered to be a unit which is too small to be viable and has necessarily to depend upon the external assistance for its administrative expenses and the structure. This is deliberately done to keep them looking towards the state for their sustenance and making them obliged and subservient to them. The traditions of ‘mai baap’ are not easily forgotten or swept aside. This village unit should be replaced by a group of villages which will be too large to be subject to local pulls and pressures and too small to be a remote entity. They must be fully autonomous without depending upon the schemes of the central authority. Whatever grants are due to them on account of the centrally collected taxes should be available to them without their having to ask or beg for them. There should be no state sponsored schemes to distort the local priorities as has happened in terms of the Center-State relations up till now. Fully autonomous Commissions should determine the amounts and the periodicity of the release of these grants. These units should have full control over the staff. There will be no state cadres. In fact as will be seen below, there will be no States.
The next unit and the most important under the Constitution will be the district by whatever name it is called. They will be the main administrative and legislating units. The country will be divided into districts that will be fully autonomous. All rights and duties will be their subject. They may delegate these to the central authorities in terms of the provisions of the Constitution, but the residual powers will belong to them. They will be framing laws for their governance except for the issues delegated by the Constitution or the district legislature to the higher bodies. The local institutions – the panchayats, the municipal committees and the municipal corporations will be under the district legislative authorities.
It is well known that for very petty reasons, the state governments have carved out districts which are much too small. May be a district reorganisation commission will be required to undertake the task of redrawing the map of the country. To provide for a dynamic situation, it will be provided for that two or more districts may merge and form a bigger unit. Likewise there will be an option for any area to opt out of a district. Both the merger and the split will be decided by referendum and the decisions will be inviolable for a secure time so as not to make this a perpetual exercise. No district will be allowed to be too large to influence the other districts nor can they be too small to become unviable. It is expected that ultimately there will be about five or six hundred administrative units of this type in the entire country.
This recommendation is in accord with the trend towards the smaller states. One of the biggest advantage of the smaller units is the immediate access that the people would have to their representatives. While it is true that the ‘aya ram gaya rams’ (defectors) are more likely in the smaller states than in the larger ones, this tendency will be curbed once there are no spoils to be shared by crossing over from one side to the other. Thus the negative aspects of the smaller state is taken away. In any case the situation in the larger states (and the consequential larger size of the legislature), is artificially created by the anti-defection Act. If the two larger parties are evenly balanced the smaller parties give it the same instability as the smaller states.
The districts may form a union for undertaking common projects subject to such conditions as the concerned districts may decide. There will be no objections to districts forming part of different groupings for different purpose so long as the functions don’t overlap nor will there be a ban on the formation of larger units based on homogeneity of language, culture and history. With the district as the basic unit of democratic traditions and functions, there will be reasonable chance for the democracy to flourish in the real sense. The representatives will be more responsible being nearer to the electorate.
Once the districts are adopted as the unit of administration and legislation, there will be no need for constituting States. They will be redundant, the purpose being served by the zonal councils formed voluntarily by the districts. The next legislative and democratic unit will be the nation i.e. the State or the union or by whatever name it may be known.
These representative bodies will be in the best position to choose the representatives to the central legislatures. Such representatives will be responsible towards the electorate. There is a big outcry against the direct elections to the head of the State. The opposition is not well considered. Direct election to the post of the President in the United States, the chancellor in Germany and the Prime Minister in Israel is not negation of democracy. The fear, possibly, is on the part of the MPs who will lose their administrative clout. The fear is on the part of the party bosses who do not run their parties in the democratic tradition. This clout is what has played havoc with the administration and the politics and must be changed if we have to ensure real democracy. It is necessary to ensure that the Members of Parliament are disassociated from the day to day administration. The representatives have become more keen on doing what they envisage is the proper method to distribute patronage. Witness the craze to have the allocation of quotas, whether it is for the LPG connection or the telephone connection or a seat in the Kendriya Vidyalaya. They are on the advisory board for the Railways cornering the concessions for themselves and their cronies. There are many subtle ways for them to exercise their influence on the bureaucracy. This patronage has to be discontinued. It is therefore necessary that their role in the direct administration should be reduced. This can be done if the executive head can be directly elected.
Those who argue against the system will note that in practice this has been the case all along. When Jawaharlal Nehru was at the head of the government, his word was law. No one could dispute it. In view of his popularity in the masses, he was not even obliged to humor the MPs. When the party threatened to get out of hand, he got his daughter appointed as the party President and controlled it effectively. His daughter continued the tradition. She had people as party Presidents who had no compunction in saying that Indira is India. The head of the state, the Rashtrapati had no qualms about signing the orders imposing President Rule while on tour to Russia. In effect we had the presidential system. Rajiv Gandhi by passing the anti-defection Act achieved the same purpose by controlling the MPs. He had no more commitment towards democracy than his predecessors but he found this to be more convenient way for achieving his purpose. Ever since this tradition of party boss and the Prime Minister calling the shots could not be continued, and the rot has set in. It has enabled the satraps, the judiciary, the election commission to assert their independence and add to the quagmires of decadence. The latest to join in is the Central Vigilance Commissioner. There is only one way to get out and that is to restore the purity of polity by controlling the unbridled powers of the legislature, the judiciary and the Election Commission.
The people must be given the chance to rule. It may be a bad rule but the best despot is worse than the worst democratically elected boss. Power without responsibility always corrupts and that is what is happening with a vengeance. By having a directly elected head of the State, the stability will be ensured. By reducing the burden on the administration to cater to the baser instincts of the elected representatives, the tilt towards the common man will be more pronounced. The various organs of the State will start doing what they were all along meant to do by the Constitution.
As stated before the electorate for the President will not be all the adult members of the public. The elected representatives of the local units will be in a far better position to cast their votes for the right candidate. As it has been stated before, the balance of power must be with the local administrative units. This can be ensured by asking them to vote for the head of the State. To those who consider it to be the negation of democracy, we can point out that even in the united states, it is ultimately the electoral colleges which elects the President. The complicated pricess ensures that the votes of each State go en block to the presidential candidate who wins majority of votes from that state. One who has got more votes of the electoral college of all the states is the winner. One of the advantages (which is considered to be a disadvantage by those wanting to fish in the unstable waters) will be the stability of tenure. No more threats of no confidence motions to put the entire administrative apparatus out in the cold. The elections will be held at fixed interval of four years at a pre-determined date and the election commission will have no role to play in deciding the date and allowing unrepresentative governments to continue on one pretext or the other or to give undue advantage to some by choosing the particular time of elections.
It is feared by some that political parties will cease to exist if there are direct elections to the post of the President and there is a presidential form of government. It is not going to be the case. While some parties that have a small number of representatives may cease to wield an influence disproportionate to their size so far as the stability (or the lack of it) of the government is concerned, the parties with principles, with specific policies and priorities and representing different shades of opinion will very much be there. In fact they will tend to gain from the new arrangement. The parties based on individuals may have to wind up but that is no big loss except to the individuals concerned. After all the Constitution is not meant for the individuals but for the nation as a whole.
The Members of Parliament will also be directly elected and will be the representatives of the people with specific role to play. The candidates themselves may not offer themselves for the elections, the voting being for the parties to which they belong. The political parties will present lists to the people and the top ones based on the votes polled will be the new members of Parliament. There is no danger of their being confined to a single region or group since each party will be forced to uphold inner-democracy, in the absence of the anti-defection Act to ensure proper representation to all the interests. No reservations will be necessary in such circumstances. The regional parties do not stand to lose in this situation. They will have their committed voters and hence proportionate representation. An alternative can be election of 50% of members on the basis of the lists and half the members on the basis of first past the pole. This system prevails in Germany. There will be runoff elections for the top two if the first candidate fails to secure over 50% of the votes polled in the first round.
It may be necessary to provide for a much larger sized Parliament but that is no handicap. Once the concentration is on the legislation rather than the daily administration and most of the work will be done in the committees away from the glare of the press, the negative points associated with the larger size will be taken care of. The anti-defection Act will have no further use and will be scrapped thus freeing the elected representatives from the stranglehold of the party bosses. It might lead to inner-party democracy and the palace coupes witnessed in the past where the elected president of the national party was removed by the executive committee largely nominated by him will not be the rule. More coherent parties will be the result of such arrangements.
The greatest casualty of Independent India is the fast erosion of the authority of the executive. This has partly been done by the political heads who wanted the share of the spoils. They destroyed the administrative structure by too much interference and by insisting on the commitment to the individuals but they forgot that they, the political executive, draws sustenance from this structure. Once the structure is weak, they will become weak and others will step in to fill the vacuum. In our case this has been done by the judiciary (and not the army as in a neighbouring country). The main blame for the loss of dominance of the executive must go to the separation of the judiciary from the executive. Nowhere in the world, we have the kind of separation of judiciary which we have in India. To be free from the control of the executive, they have been made free from responsibility. Power without responsibility breeds contempt for the general public. How a particular decision affects the public is not even thought of let alone be taken into consideration. This is true of the military dictators. This is also seen in the present day judicial system.
This separation at one stroke removed the fear of the executive, including the politicians from the mind of the criminals and ensured that an authority which is not aware of the day to day complications of the administration and will not be able to appreciate the repercussions of their decisions will be put in charge. This considerably eased the pressure on the criminals who could act with impunity. By training, the judges magistrates were concerned with only the case at hand and had no inkling of how this will fit in the larger canvass of social fabric. This was ok so far as the civil adjudication went but was disastrous for the criminal administration. It is imperative that the so-called independence should be done away with. The criminal justice administration must be replaced by the judiciary which is answerable to the people. There should be district level cadres of the judges for criminal work. These lower authorities should be elected and should periodically go before the people to explain what they have achieved in terms of the improvement in the law and order situation. If they are not found up to the mark, they must make way for others. The higher echelons will continue to be professionals who will ensure that there is no departure from the rule of law at the lower level and no pandering to the extraneous situations. The jury system should be introduced. This will also imply that there should be a free and frank discussions on the judicial cases. The sword of contempt of court that is always hanging on the people and has been used to do away with all criticism, fair or unfair, must be done away with. While the rulings of the High Courts and the Supreme Court will continue to be good for the lower judiciary, the powers of punishing for the contempt will be taken away. This will ensure just criticism of the judicial pronouncements and the judges will have to explain their conduct to the people, the ultimate reservoir of power. The appointment and confirmation of the judges will be subject to the clearance by the parliamentary committees. It must be understood that in democracy, only the elected representatives are supreme and rest are subservient to them and through them to the society.
It is presumed in the present day scenario that the persons are innocent till they are punished by the highest court. This is unfair. The police, the lower judiciary and the prosecutors are also wings of the administration and are as much responsible as the higher officers of the judiciary. It is unfair to cast them in the role of villains who are out to grab an innocent citizen and deprive him of his liberty. To be sure, there have to be checks and balances as with everything else but we must not start with the assumption of misdeeds. This is a hangover from the pre-Independence days. We have done nothing to reform, educate, retrain and reorient the police and the investigation agencies. We have merely ensured that they will continue to be handicapped and play second fiddle to the judicial system and treated worse than the criminals. We have ensured that their hands will be tied and they will be ineffective. This must change. It is necessary that once the person has been indicted by the prosecutor, he will lose at least some of the rights available to the ordinary law abiding citizens. He will not be able to contest any elections, buy new property nor will he be able to get a contract from the government. Any contract that he has will be subject to review. Any elected post he may be holding will be deemed to be vacated. He will lose the benefits of social welfare programmes as also privilege to roam around the country and the world at will. These restrictions will apply till he is able to clear himself of the charges levelled against him. To ensure a fair play, the prosecutors will be independent of the immediate influence of the executive, though in accordance with the general principles enunciated above, he will not be independent of the society and will still be answerable to them. In order to ensure this there will be frequent transfers between the prosecutors wing, the judicial wing and the police and the magistracy in charge of day to day affairs of law and order. The mistakes committed over the years since Independence will be swept away and proper rule of law introduced.
It is to be ensured that the administration of the criminal justice will be swift and expeditious. To this extent the number of appeals, interlocutory orders, revisions etc. will be limited. There will a statutory restrictions on these and even the higher judiciary will not be able to interfere on any pretext whatsoever. The powers of hearing writ petitions especially the so-called public interest litigation, will be severally restricted. There will no suspension of the sentences for unduly long periods pending appeals, revisions and the like. While it may be to the disadvantage of individuals, the society at large will stand to benefit. That is what should count. The wrong doings on the part of the police, the prosecutors and the magistracy will be severally punished to ensure that they do not go astray.
It will be necessary to take care of the economic offences to allow the economy to grow at a fast rate. The courts for these cases will be composed of the experts. At present the Supreme Court has arbitrarily insisted that the presiding officer will be from the judiciary. This is only trade unionism and will be done away with. The same will apply to the administrative tribunals and adjudication tribunals. The appeals will lie to the higher judiciary but it will not be necessary to make these tribunals the adjuncts of the judiciary thus reducing their efficacy. Once again no unit of administration (and the judiciary is also only a unit) will be given over riding powers over other wings. No one will be able to hijack the powers for themselves.
In order to assert the supremacy of the elected representative of the people it will be ensured that no law passed by them will be subject to the review by the judiciary. In the case of laws passed by the district legislatures, the appeal shall lie to the judicial committee of Parliament. In the case of laws passed by Parliament, the judicial committee may similarly hear review petitions. But the decision taken by them will be final and not subject to judicial review. The directly elected head of the state will naturally have powers to ensure that the decisions are not partisan.
One of the grave deficiencies in the present Constitution is that it has tended to be too long and too involved. It is said that the Constitution was framed by lawyers. It is also said that it was for the lawyers. In fact the only tribe that seems to have thrived is the tribe of lawyers. The criminal has got away with many things – thanks to this excessive adherence to the form rather the substance. In fact the Constitution has to be amended even to increase the pay of the President is a sad commentary on the framers of the Constitution. The new Constitution must be simple, well written concise document meant for the general people. There should be few exceptions. The Constitution should lay down the broad guidance for the citizens. The law should be laid down by the parliament.
Democracy thrives on public debates and controversies. It has the pressure groups as the necessary part. The give and take in the debates ensure a balance between various interests. In India, the industrial houses have controlled the policies and the processes by buying off the obliging politicians and the compliant officers. The permit quota raj, aided by the secrecy Acts bred corruption and nepotism and worse. The Parliament and the Legislatures went on discussing the non issues creating heat, anger and occasional ugly scenes but the real decisions were taken behind the scenes. This has to be changed. Each and every decision should be publicly discussed at each stage. The committee system with free access to the public will ensure that people participate actively in the debate. TV and the media must ensure that. They will be the real forum for decision making. The pressure groups will be there and need to be there to influence the decision but all this will done in the open rather than clandestinely.
Reservations have become another sacred part of the Constitution. This is one of the reasons why the review of the Constitution has been assailed. There are persons who’ve tended to say that the Constitution is the handiwork of one person. As if the remaining persons of the Constituent Assembly were mere spectators at best and nincompoops at worst. Be as it is, the reservations were mere transient provisions and no Constitution should be a document of the transient provisions. It must only lay down the guidelines and the principles of governance. It appears that the framers of the Constitution were not too sure of themselves or did not have faith in the people of Indian. Perhaps they believed, along with their British masters, that the Indians will never be able to govern themselves. Our freedom struggle was not of the masses but only of the microscopic groups who could master the English language. For a while the masses were roused but never involved. The repeated suspension of the Freedom Movement on the pretext of violence or on the basis of the agreements between few individuals bears this out. It is to be regretted and this must be changed. It must be held that the people are able to govern themselves. Accordingly, the Constitution should reflect that feeling. The decision to entrust the review to an ex-Chief justice and his nominees is unlikely to achieve the desired object. It is a must that the common people with roots in the soil should be utilised for the review.
These are drastic changes and obviously do away with the so-called basic structure of the Constitution. The Constitution should not be a document of platitudinous statements and pious sentiments. It should be a practical document. And it should be for the people to adopt it. If the Parliament cannot do it, a new Constituent Assembly may be called in. It should be directly elected by the people and be charged with specific responsibility of writing the new Constitution. If it is necessary, there should be a complete overhaul of the system and the present incumbents made to give way to others more in tune with the sentiments of the people. Too long have we gone on with the experiment. The results are disastrous and everyone, except for the immediate beneficiaries, can see it. These privileged ones will be the stumbling block to any change except for the cosmetic ones. They must be swept aside to give the people a Constitution where they are supreme. A Constitution should be capable of solving the problems. Stability is the need of the hour. That requires rule of law.
Decentralisation is a must to ensure the participation of the people in democracy and in governance. The details can be worked out but the basics must be decided. Sooner the better. It may be a revolution but we deserve it if we are to progress as a nation.
KK Sethi, a 1963 batch IAS officer borne on the Madhya Pradesh cadre, has had an illustrious career. He was Chairman Board of Revenue Madhya Pradesh, Chief Secretary Manipur, and head of the National Commission for Linguistic Minorities (NCLM)