Religion / 30.01.2011

By Pilid Lao Today’s Supreme Court decision in Prafull Goradia v. Union of India is ludicrous to say the least. The question was straightforward and simple: whether a government grant funded by taxpayer money violates the proscription of Art. 27 against state fostering religious activity. Article 27 of the Constitution of India states: No person shall be compelled to pay any taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination. The Court proclaimed that it would only amount to such a violation if a “substantial part of tax payer money” is used to promote religious activity: In our opinion Article 27 would be violated if a substantial part of the entire income tax collected in India, or a substantial part of the entire central excise or the customs duties or sales tax, or a...

Development / 02.06.2009

By Anjum Altaf What have we learned from our discussion of the laws of inheritance? First, that laws pertaining to the same issue can differ across societies and over time. Second, that laws need not be divinely ordained and fixed for all times and places. The law of primogeniture was introduced in England in 1066 after the Norman invasion because the Norman knights who were awarded land grants did not wish their estates to be diluted by divisions. Third, laws can have negative and positive effects. The law of primogeniture was unfair because it deprived all heirs except the eldest son from a share in the wealth of the father.However, by removing all uncertainty from the issue of political succession, it provided a lot of stability in society. This was in marked contrast to the fratricidal conflicts that plagued succession in the Mughal Empire. Fourth, these positive and negative consequences...