Suspension of Elected Representatives on Flimsy Grounds Should be Relooked Into!

  • The primary responsibility of the elected representatives, either the Member of Parliament or the Member of Legislative Assembly/Council, is to legislate every such act that has larger ramifications for the general well-being of the nation’s citizens. Based on this basic premise, the electorate elects their representatives with an express intention to further their lot which gets formulated in the form of policies, acts, and statutes. Unfortunately, parochial considerations of the political leaders, irrespective of party affiliations, and intent on furthering their cause has overtaken the noble tenets as envisaged by the Constituent Assembly back in the 1940s/50s.

PC: macrovector

  • Looking at the present scenario which is getting worse by the day should be causing heartburn to those souls of honorable forefathers wherever they are. Staying on the topic, less said the better about the quality of the debate or the lack of it since obstructions, disturbances, and walkouts have become the order of the day. Hardly any worthwhile business transactions take place during the Parliamentary and Assembly sessions of late speaks volumes about the deplorable state of affairs bogging the legislature. Healthy debates leading to meaningful outcomes have become an exception rather than the norm.
  • No wonder, the suspension of the aggressive legislatures for their conduct has assumed regularity. Against this backdrop, the Supreme Court’s warning that the Maharashtra assembly’s suspension of 12 BJP MLAs for one year represents a danger to democracy, has a much wider resonance. As mentioned above, suspensions are now all too frequent irrespective of party. Citing statutory parallels like the Election Commission having to conduct polls within six months of a seat falling vacant, SC suggested suspensions should not be longer. The Apex Court also noted that since suspensions are aimed at ensuring smooth conduct of House business, extending them beyond the ongoing session would be irrational. Point to be noted with purpose.

PC: Vishnu V V

  • The SC bench was especially worried about governments with a slender majority misusing this provision. There are several examples to illustrate the same. Moreover, intolerance to dissent is the bigger malaise. Note that 11 BJP MLAs were suspended in Chhattisgarh last month. We all know how things panned out when 12 Rajya Sabha members were suspended in the winter session for alleged misbehavior during the last monsoon session. It served no purpose in mitigating disruptions or bridging the political divide. The opposition complained the action contravened House business rules, which only allowed for suspension for the remainder of the session, not for the next session.
  • Add to it the disinclination of treasury benches to debate issues inconvenient to governments and opposition’s insistence on the same have only ruptured parliamentary protocols leading to frequent bedlam, and of late, intemperate conduct. The SC is signaling that suspension must be kept short and preferably for only the ongoing session which is perfectly fine. Given that blame for disruptions lies on all fronts, using suspension as a punitive tool can affect every party. As such, the legislatures cannot cry hoarsely over judicial activism here since the legislative conduct is far from being ideal and unconstitutional attracting legal review as a final recourse. Suspensions for a session are fine, but not for a year, please. In conclusion, respective legislatures should uphold the democratic principles by conducting responsibly allowing every voice to be heard.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.