Parl alone should draft laws: Govt, opposition

The government and the opposition were unanimous that the Parliament was the only body which could and should draft legislations in the country.

New Delhi: Though the opposition was unsparing in its attack on the government on the issue of corruption, both the government and the opposition were unanimous that the Parliament was the only body which could and should draft legislations in the country.

The point of agreement emerged as both sides, participating in the special debate on the Lokpal issue in the Rajya Sabha Saturday, said that the Parliament was the only body which should be drafting bills.

"No one can dispute that Indian Parliament is supreme in law making. Law can`t be made anywhere else but in Parliament. So even when pressure groups build up pressure in the society, we must concede to them the right to build up pressure, but not be provoked by them," Leader of Opposition in the upper house Arun Jaitley said while participating in the debate.

"We must not lose our rationality to what we have to accept and what we don`t have to accept. We must legislate keeping in mind the basic principle and values of Indian society, experiences of our democracy and our constitutional rights," he said.

The leader of opposition said while civil society had a role to play as crusaders, the option to agree or not was there.

"There will be a role for civil society, some of them may take positions which may not be implementable, but then they have the role of campaigner and crusader... when they try to compel lawmakers to change their route, we have the option of agreeing with them, we have the option of not agreeing," he said.

Union Minister Ashwani Kumar, participating in the debate, also raised the same point, stating there was unanimity in the house that law-making should be with the Parliament alone.

"There is one issue on which there is complete unanimity that law-making is the exclusive domain of the two houses and cannot be compromised by people sitting under a banyan tree or peepal tree," he said.

He also said that mistakes might have been made, but there were no two opinions on the fact that corruption needed to be fought against.

Jaitley meanwhile said the massive support for Anna Hazare is a "loud and clear" message that people are unhappy with the present dispensation.

"The message is loud and clear, people are not ready to accept the present status quo," he said as the house took up the debate on the Lokpal bill.

"Corruption in many areas has become a way of life."

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said the "upper sections of the society bend the rules and indulge in corruption, while the common people suffer".

"There are low areas of society where the average man has to confront corruption as a way of life," he said.

He said some "not so complimentary statements" were being made about the Parliament and MPs. He urged fellow members not to pay attention to them.

"Time has now come to raise the bar of accountability in India. Existing structures have not succeeded. They have not responded to the enormity of the situation," he said.

The Upper House took up the debate at noon, an hour after the Lok Sabha began the debate to resolve the logjam over a Lokpal Bill following a fast by Hazare that entered the 12th day on Saturday.


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