Judiciary cannot interfere
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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 25, 2007
Judiciary cannot interfere in Legislatures powers: Somnath Chatterjee
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Somnath Chatterjee

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Judiciary cannot interfere in Legislatures powers: Somnath Chatterjee

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said on Friday that the Legislature had the absolute constitutional right to make laws and enforce executive accountability, and reiterated that the constitutional mandate of the judiciary was to interpret the laws and not to make them or to lay down general norms of behaviour for the government.

Thiruvananthapuram, May 25 : Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee said on Friday that the Legislature had the absolute constitutional right to make laws and enforce executive accountability, and reiterated that the constitutional mandate of the judiciary was to interpret the laws and not to make them or to lay down general norms of behaviour for the government.

Addressing the All India Conference of presiding officers and secretaries of legislative bodies at Thiruvananthapuram, Chatterjee said the judiciary could not exercise its power of judicial review to lay down new policies or to direct actions to be taken up by the executive.

Stressing the importance of harmonious co-existence of the separate organs of democracy, he said the time had come to introspect whether they were discharging their duties and functions as mandated by the Constitution.

"Our object is not to find our areas of conflict or confrontation but to stress where there should be harmonious co-operation between the two organs," he said.

Expressing concern over indiscipline and falling standards of debate in legislative bodies, he regretted that 73 hours were lost in the last budget session due to disruptions.

Dignified conduct of the members of the legislatures, both inside and outside the chambers, was an essential pre-requisite for an effective parliamentary system, Chatterjee said.

Though maintenance of order in the House was the primary duty of the presiding officer, the members owe a duty to co-operate with the chair and preserve and maintain the dignity of the House, he added.

"It is quite distressing that proceedings of the House are often disrupted, not spontaneously, but by deliberate acts of some members committed for narrow political reasons in complete disregard of efforts by presiding officers to regulate the proceedings," he said.

He said it was also a matter of concern that the media often gave more coverage for disruptions while important debates often failed to receive proper attention.

"High decibels and incapacity to communicate should not become the hallmnark of our functioning. Sagacity, maturity, honesty of purpose and dedication to address national problems are the need of the hour," he said.

Referring to the cash-for-query and human trafficking issues, he said it was grave matter of concern that serious allegations came up against one or the other member of being guilty of corrupt practices and different types of criminal activity.

He said he had recently set up an 11-member committee of the members of the Lok Sabha to probe the misconduct and misuse of parliamentary privileges and facilities.

Kerala Assembly Speaker K Radhakrishnan urged the delegates to deliberate on key issues concerning the functioning of the legislative bodies so as to make them live up to the aspirations of the people and trust reposed by them on elected representatives.

The Speakers and Deputy Speakers from all the state assemblies and chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of six legislative councils are attending the three-day meet.

Lok Sabha Secretary General P D T Achary, Rajya Sabha Secretary General Yogendra Narain and secretaries of state legislatures are attending the meet.

ANI

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