Parliament disruption main tool of opposition: VP
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 03, 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.


First Published: Thursday, February 03, 2011, 00:13

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