- Final Act of WTO: Abuse of Treaty Making Power by Shiva Kant Jha

Final Act of WTO: Abuse of Treaty Making Power by Shiva Kant Jha

First edition and reprints 2006
Price Rs. 100
Published by Centre for Study of Gobal Trade System and Development, New Delhi

Review by:

Dr Rajeev Dhavan, Sr Advocate []

A recent monograph under the title “Final Act of WTO: Abuseof Treaty Making Power” by Shiva Kant Jha, also author of“The Judicial Role in Globalised Economy” has seriouslyreflected over our government's treaty-making power withinthe context of experiences of developing countries such asIndia now being subjected to a volley of economic andCross-retaliatory pressures under what are summarilyreferred to as WTO/TRIPS/GATS dictated conditionalities.Through a number of well-quoted legal-constitutionalstatutes, procedures and practices, Jha is questioning “thepropriety, legality and constitutional validity of ourAcceptance of the Uruguay Round Final Act which spawned theWTO designed to subjugate the political realm to theeconomic realm to establish the sovereignty of the presentdayLeviathan, Pax Mercatus.


Any citizen of the Republic of India has right to bring to the notice of the Supreme Court acts which grossly violate the law and the Constitution of India. This right emanates from the terms of the Preamble to our Constitution. In fact, such a right is implied in the constitutions where the ultimate sovereignty resides in the people. Art 20(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany even goes to say: “All Germans have the right to resist any person seeking to abolish the constitutional order, should no other remedy be possible.” Dr Meghnad Desai very aptly observed: “The hope of India lies not in its politicians but in its citizens.” The role of citizenry in this phase of Economic Globalization, is very perceptively suggested by Harold Pinter, the 2005 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature, concluding his  Nobel Lecture:

“I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.” 

It is time to reflect over our government's treaty-making power. In some delirium our executive-government negotiated and ratified the Uruguay Round Final Act which placed us under the WTO regime. The Peoples' Commission on GATT ( consisting of V.R. Krishna Iyer, O. Chinnappa Reddy, D.A. Desai and Rajinder Sachar, the former Judges of great distinction ) examined the Act, and found India's obligations under it subversive of the basic features of our Constitution. Only sometime back, our government entered into an Agreement with Singapore, Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) , which is no less devastating than the Final Act. Many more treaties are in the offing. Our executive government's approach to treaty-making is dangerous. These days the whole nation has the Indo-Nuclear Deal at the most conscious point. In this phase of Economic Globalization, we must establish treaty-making procedure without betraying the trust reposed by our Constitution. Some suggestions in the matter have been mentioned in this book. There are good grounds to believe that in these locust-eaten years circumstances are conspiring to effect a sort of genuflection of our Constitution.

It is likely that a Writ Petition may be moved before the Supreme Court agitating the issues above mentioned. But as this will be a Public Interest Litigation, those who would be represented in the Court in making submissions must know the stand their self-assumed representative takes in their name. Even if, for any reason, this move does not materialize, the citizens should know the problems of our day, so that some way some day ways can be found out to solve them pro bono publico. We must not forget what Ella Wheeler Wilcox said in Settle the Questions Right : “No question is ever settled until it is settled right”.

Shri B. K. Keayla, Secretary General of the Centre for Study of Global Trade System and Development, expressed his desire to publish my ideas questioning the propriety, legality and constitutional validity of our acceptance of the Uruguay Round Final Act which spawned the WTO designed to subjugate the political realm to the economic realm to establish the sovereignty of the present-day Leviathan, Pax Mercatus . I appreciated his ideas. I felt that the entire citizenry is entitled to know what a citizen thinks about an issue of the greatest importance in this phase of Economic Globalization, so that the worth of his effort is evaluated by the political sovereign of our body politic. Our great country cannot enact Beckett's play Godot in which nothing happens. Its last lines and stage direction are very suggestive:

Vladimir: Well? Shall we go?
Estragon: Yes, let's go.
They do not move.

Our country must move with courage and imagination; it is now or never.

The First Chapter of the Book link

Chapter I of the book : deals with Treaty-making power - Links on Shivakantjha - Links on Shivakantjha

HomeShiva Kant JhaBhajan & SongsGopi Kant Jha, Autobiography of a Freedom FighterAncestorsReflections on the Constitution of IndiaBlogD.D.-G.K.J. TrustBhagavadgita Study CentreKrishna and his Bhagwat GitaOn The Loom of TimeJudicial Role in Globalised EconomyBooks & PublicationsArticles & PapersMy Parlour - Current Legal ProblemsDemocracyWatch India'In A Nutshell'TripletsLiteratureSpeechesCurrent Legal Problems Public Interest LitigationsOn Governance & PolityStray Thoughts & QuotesAudio-VisualsPhotographs

Untitled Document
© All rights reserved. Disclaimer