इंडियन आवाज़     29 Nov 2023 08:39:23      انڈین آواز

Supremacy of Parliament at stake

The Lok pal to fight corruption introduced in the Lok Sabha on August 4 has unleashed a war of words and nervous. The Bill now before a Standing Committee of Law and Justice has become the property of the House.

The Civil Society has rejected the Bill as being “toothless and ineffective” as the Prime Minister, higher judiciary and Bureaucrats does not come under its purview.  Civil Society says that the Bill is no substitute for the Jan Lok Pal Bill. What is needed is a strong and effective legislation.   

Therefore, Anna Hazare has demanded the withdrawal of the UPA Cabinet approved Lokpal Bill and the introduction of Jan Lok Pal Bill. On the withdrawal of any Government bill under the domain of Parliament,  “The Parliamentary Practice and Procdures” by Kaul and Shakhder says  “The member in charge of a Bill at any stage of the Bill move for leave to  withdraw the Bill on the ground that         
(a)    the legislative proposal contained in the Bill is to be dropped or  (b) the Bill is to be replaced subsequently by a new Bill which substantially  alters the provisions contained there in or  (c) the Bill is to be replaced subsequently by a another Bill which includes all or any of its provisions in addition to other provisions: and if such leave is granted no further motion shall be made with reference to the Bill.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who knows the constitutional and procedures at the tip of his fingers has raised some fundamental questions challenging Hazare’s strategy to undermine the authority of Parliament.  Bypassing the Parliament means subverting the will of the people and strikes at the foundations of Parliamentary Democracy.

No one other that the elected members of the house can introduce under Private Members category. BJP MP Varun Gandhi has already come forward to Anna Hazare”s version of the Lokpal Bill termed as Jan Lok Pal Bill –as a Private members Bill in the Lok Sabha.

The UPA demonstrated its commitment to safeguard and protect the sovereignty and supremacy of Parliament of India. In his statement to Parliament, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on               the raging controversy with Anna Hazare said “However, I am not aware of any constitutional philosophy or principle that allows any one to question the sole prerogative of Parliament to make law”    In making the law on the Lok pal Bill the Government had “faithfully to well-settled principles” and Mr Hazare “questions these principles and claims to impose his Jan Lok Pal Bill upon Parliament”.

His Home Minister P Chidambaram under scored that the Parliament would have to stand together in ensuring that its law making function does not get appropriated by those who are not members. The people have the right to vote us in and vote us out of Parliament but no right to make law. That right has been given to us by the people” He said.

“The real issue is who drafts the law, If the sovereign authority of Parliament is diminished even a little bit, it will be sad day. I accept the argument that a strong Lok Bill should be passed, But I reject the argument that only Jan Lok Pal Bill should be passed”. The Parliamentarians are guarding their Rights and Privileges so zealously that even the Principal Opposition Party- the BJP has come out strongly against anyone challenging the supremacy of Parliament. The BJP, while full backing Civil Society team has firmly rejected its main demand that the team’s Jan Lok Pal Bill be introduced in Parliament rather than the Governments Lok Pal Bill.

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