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68. Aundh Constitution
[From "Notes"]

There are several startling things in the Aundh constitution. For the moment I am concerned with only two things — the qualification for the vote and the courts of justice.
I have myself hitherto sworn by simple adult franchise as well for the illiterate as the literate. My observations of the Working of the Congress constitution has altered my opinion. I have come round to the view that a literacy test is necessary for two reasons. The vote should be regarded as a privilege and therefore carry some qualification. The simplest qualification is a literacy test. And if the ministry appointed under the literacy franchise is sincere and solicitous about the disqualified illiterates, the much desired literacy would come in no time. The Aundh constitution has made primary education free and compulsory. I have been assured by Appasaheb that he will see that illiteracy is driven out from Aundh State inside of six months. I hope, therefore, that there will be no opposition in Aundh to the literacy test.
The second important departure from the ordinary practice is the making of justice in the lower court free and incredibly simple. What would, however, displease critics is not the freeness or the simplicity as such but the abolition of intermediate courts and the fate of litigants and persons charged with offences being made to depend on a High Court presided over by one person. In a population of 75,000 a multiplicity of judges would be both unnecessary and impossible. And if the right type of person is chosen as the Chief Judge, he is as likely to deal out unadulterated justice as a bench of highly paid judges. This simplification contemplates abolition of the cumbrous procedure and the use of tomes of law books including hundreds of law reports used in British law courts.

Harijan, 14-1-1939, p. 422