Constitutional Change: A Public Choice Analysis
Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution, 2016
18 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2016
Date Written: March 3, 2016
Amendments to the Constitution, especially to the fundamental rights, have two starkly different patterns in Indian constitutional history. During 1950–80, Parliament was the battleground for seeking formal constitutional amendments; while post-1980, the Supreme Court became the power centre, with interest groups seeking amendments through interpretation. What is the reason for this shift of interest-group activity from the legislature to the judiciary? The existing literature has attributed this shift to the increasing power of the Indian Supreme Court; coalition politics; changes in ideology; greater emphasis on positive rights; etc. In this chapter, I explain the change in constitutional amendments using economic analysis.
Keywords: constitutional amendments, judicial activism, interest group, rent seeking
JEL Classification: D72, H13, K41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation