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"Parliament is North Star of democracy...we are required to work according to rules": RS Chairman Dhankar tells MPs
New Delhi: Amid protests by opposition in the House over their demands, Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar on Friday said that Parliament is the "North Star of democracy", a place of discussion and deliberation to realize the aspirations and dreams of the people and not a place of disturbance.
"Parliament is the essence of democracy. Parliament is the North Star of democracy. It is a place of discussion and deliberation to realize the aspirations and dreams of the people and not a place of disturbance. We are required to work in accordance with rules," Dhankar said. The "North Star" reference by the Vice President apparently came in the backdrop of remarks by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud who had last month compared the basic structure doctrine with North Star.
The CJI had made the remarks while delivering the Nani A Palkhivala Memorial Lecture in Mumbai on January 22.
The CJI's remarks came days after comments by Dhankar who differed with the 1973 Kesavananda Bharati case verdict which gave the basic structure doctrine.
The CJI said in his lecture that the basic structure of Constitution, like the North Star, gives certain direction to the interpreters of the Constitution when the path ahead is convoluted.
Vice President Dhankar, who addressed the 83rd All India Presiding Officers Conference in Jaipur on January 11, said power to amend Constitution is lifeline of democracy.
"The essence of democracy lies in the prevalence of the mandate of the people and securing their welfare. The power of the Parliament to amend the Constitution and deal with legislation is not subject to any other authority. This is the lifeline of a democracy.
"In a democratic society, 'the basic' of any 'basic structure' has to be the supremacy of mandate of people. Thus, the primacy and sovereignty of Parliament and legislature is inviolable," Dhankar had said.
He said that the judiciary cannot legislate in as much legislature cannot script a judicial verdict.
"Democracy sustains and blossoms when the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive act in tandem and togetherness to fructify constitutional goals and realise aspirations of the people. Judiciary cannot legislate in as much Legislature cannot script a judicial verdict," he said.
He also said that parliamentary sovereignty cannot be permitted to be diluted or compromised by the executive or the judiciary and public posturing or "one-upmanship" that is being frequently witnessed in this matter is not "wholesome".
All constitutional institutions the Judiciary, the executive and the legislature are required to confine to their respective domains and conform to the highest standard of propriety and decorum, Dhankar had added.
He had expressed concerns over the increasing instances of disruptions in Parliament and legislatures and urged the representatives to be conscious of the expectations and aspirations of the people.
With the opposition giving notices concerning Hindenburg-Adani row amid their demand for a joint parliamentary probe, Dhankar on Friday said he is "unable to accede to them as these are not fulfilling the requirement of Rule 267".
"And these are not in conformity with the direction by the Chair on December 8, 2022. I appeal to the hon. Members to maintain order so that the listed Business of the House may be taken up," he said.
The opposition parties have forced adjournments in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha over their demands concerning Hindenburg-Adani row. They have sought discussion over investment by LIC, Public Sector Banks, and financial institutions "in companies losing market value, endangering the savings of crores of Indians" following a report by a US-based short seller Hidenburg Research which has made allegations against some companies of Adani group. (ANI)