Learning to Live with Crisis Governance Long after the Coronavirus?

17 Pages Posted: 17 May 2020

Date Written: May 17, 2020


This paper demonstrates that the crisis governance model adopted in India, although arguably necessary for the time being, comes at a serious cost. The wholesale concentration of powers in the executive is antithetical to the fibres of democracy. Moreover, the legal basis of this investiture of powers is shorn of sufficient safeguards for oversight. To prevent lasting changes to the "normal" forms of governance, it is imperative for government to relinquish these powers when no longer necessary. When might that occur in context of COVID-19 is the focus of this paper. I argue that India’s past experiences, the peculiar legal basis of the extraordinary powers used during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the judicial abnegation of responsibility that has been on display thus far, all make it reasonable to assume that these powers are not going to be relinquished any time soon. Learning to live with the Coronavirus, then, might also force learning to live with the decrees of crisis governance.

Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Crisis Governance, India, Emergency, Fundamental Rights, Permanent Emergency, Judicial Review

Suggested Citation

Sekhri, Abhinav, Learning to Live with Crisis Governance Long after the Coronavirus? (May 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3603202 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3603202

Abhinav Sekhri (Contact Author)

Delhi High Court ( email )

India Gate
Delhi, 110003

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