Cannot cross ‘lakshman rekha’ to stop parliament disruptions: Supreme Court

Parliament_of_IndiaSupreme Court of India has dismissed a public interest litigation petition which sought framing of guidelines to ensure uninterrupted functioning of Parliament observing that intervention in the parliamentary affairs would be an overstep and amount to crossing the ‘lakshman rekha’.

A bench comprising of Chief Justice of India HL Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy was hearing a matter filed by NGO Foundation for Restoration of National Values (FRNV) which submitted before the Court that “the life blood of parliamentary democracy in this country has been facing severe disruptions in its functioning from the representatives of the people, thereby gravely affecting the public and national interest, sullying the name and reputation of this august institution, and resulting in crores of public money being wasted.”

Case No. Writ Petition (C) No. of 2015 [PIL]
Case Title Foundation For Restoration Of National Values v. Union Of India & Ors
Bench
  • Chief Justice HL Dattu
  • Justice Amitava Roy

download-orderCJI Dattu observed:

We cannot monitor Parliament. The Speaker of the House knows how to manage the function of the House. We should know our ‘lakshman rekha’. We should never cross the ‘lakshman rekha’. We should not be overstepping our boundary to say Parliament be conducted in this manner and not in that manner. No, we cannot say. [PTI]

Petition had claimed that in the absence of a law, there is total vacuum to deal with the issue of non-functioning of Parliament and hence it would be proper for the Court to frame guidelines. Along with the Union of India, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and the secretariats of the two Houses were made parties to the PIL.

Citing a study of PRS Legislative Research, petition had further claimed:

The working of the 15th Lok Sabha was disrupted frequently, making the productivity of the 15th Lok Sabha the worst in the last 50 years. Disruptions during the term of the 15th Lok Sabha resulted in the Lok Sabha working for 61% and the Rajya Sabha for 66% of its scheduled time…

Request Parliament, you elected them

Declining to entertain the petition, CJI Dattu suggested the petitioner to make representations before the Parliamentarians itself as they are “experienced and had wisdom. They are elected representatives. They know their responsibilities and surely they know how to conduct themselves”.

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