Parliament disruption main tool of opposition: VP

Last Updated: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 00:13

New Delhi: Vice President M. Hamid Ansari
on Wednesday said disruptive adjournments, rather than reasoned
argument, have become the main tool of parliamentary
opposition.



He said "the legislature has in the public mind become a
site for adversarial combat rather than of deliberative
clarity".
"In the view of many competent observers, the idealised
view of legislature as a deliberative body is a far cry from
reality," Ansari said in his presidential address on the
occasion of Durga Das Basu Centenary Celebrations at Vigyan
Bhawan.



The remarks by Ansari, Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, came
amid the government-opposition standoff over JPC probe into 2G
spectrum scam which had washed out the winter session of
Parliament and threatens to hit the coming budget session of
the House.



"Disruptive adjournments have become the main tool of
parliamentary opposition, rather than reasoned argument," said
Ansari.



He said "statistical data reveals a steady decline in the
annual number of sittings of Parliament and of state
legislatures."



Describing various "mechanisms, mechanics, institutions
and procedures" as the "hardware" of the country`s
parliamentary democracy, Ansari said "citizens can
legitimately enquire if those entrusted with the daily
assessment of the executive have discharged their duties."
Pointing out that "the daily assessment of the
executive is done by members of Parliament, through
questions, resolutions, no-confidence motions, adjournment
motions and debates on addresses," Ansari said "the periodic
assessment is done by the electorate at the time of the
election."



"The daily assessment of responsibility, however, is
far more effective than the periodic assessment and far more
necessary in a country like India," said Ansari.



The function was attended among others by Chief Justice
of India S H Kapadia, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily and
other dignitaries.



Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice of India S H
Kapadia said the constitution of India was a bank of idea
which cherishes the idea of fundamental rights and diversity of
the country.



He said the judicial reviews are institutional
solution to human problems.



Citing a lecture of D D Basu, he said "the people can
ill-afford to forget that the constitution and judicial review
is the only peaceful devise available to control a government
which has a tendency to arbitrariness."



Quoting experts, he said "when an author writes a
book on the Constitution of India, it should not be mere a
compilation. It should be a book on ideas because the
constitution of law is all about concepts and the Supreme
Court and the higher courts deal with the principles of
constitution as a forum, in which principles of constitution
are discussed and laid down."



He said that even today "in the constitution bench
of the Supreme Court, we are considering the interpretation of
article 300 (A) of the constitution".



Albie Sachs, former Judge of the constitution court of
the South Africa, who was the speaker at the lecture, also
shared his view on the role of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission in present complex society.



M Veerappa Moily said existence of parliamentary
democracy depends of free media and an independent judiciary.



PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 3, 2011 - 00:13

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