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Friday, April 19 2024

Quality of debates in legislatures ought to be highest order, says SC

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday January 28 said the Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies are becoming more and more intransigent places, as it emphasised that to become world leaders, the quality of debates in the legislatures ought to be of highest order.

A bench of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and C.T. Ravikumar said: “The Parliament/Legislative Assembly are becoming more and more intransigent place. The philosophical tenet, one must agree to disagree is becoming a seldom scene or a rarity during the debates”

The bench said it has become common to hear that the House could not complete its usual scheduled business and most of the time had been spent in jeering and personal attacks against each other, instead of erudite, constructive, and educative debates consistent with the highest tradition of the august body. “This is the popular sentiment gaining ground amongst the common man. It is disheartening for the observers,” it said.

It emphasised that it is high time that corrective steps are taken by all concerned and the elected representatives to restore the glory and the standard of intellectual debates of the highest order.

The bench said: “For becoming world leaders and self-dependant/reliant, quality of debates in the House ought to be of the highest order and directed towards intrinsic constitutional and native issues confronting the common man of the nation/states, who are at the crossroad of semi-sesquicentennial or may we say platinum or diamond jubilee year on completion of 75 years post-independence.”

The top court made these observations in its judgment quashing the year-long suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra Assembly. The bench said there can be no place for disorderly conduct in the House much less “grossly disorderly”. It added: “Being House of respected and honourable members, who are emulated by their ardent followers and elected from their respective constituency, they are expected to show statesmanship and not brinkmanship.”

It said that even a complex issue needs to be resolved in a congenial atmosphere by observing collegiality and showing full respect and deference towards each other. “They ought to ensure optimum utilisation of quality time of the House, which is very precious, and is the need of the hour especially when we the people of India that is Bharat, take credit of being the oldest civilisation on the planet and also being the world’s largest democracy (demographically),” the bench added.

The top court noted that this case has thrown up an occasion for all concerned to ponder over the need to evolve and adhere to good practices befitting the august body; and appropriately denounce and discourage proponents of undemocratic activities in the House, by democratically elected representatives.

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