No Proper Debate in Parliament, 'Sorry State Of Affairs': CJI N V Ramana

CJI N V Ramana
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CJI N V Ramana (File/Photo)

Highlights

Observing that the law-making process in the country is in a "sorry state of affairs", Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Sunday rued the lack of debates in Parliament, saying this led to absence of clarity and a "lot of gaps and ambiguity" in the legislations.

New Delhi: Observing that the law-making process in the country is in a "sorry state of affairs", Chief Justice of India N V Ramana on Sunday rued the lack of debates in Parliament, saying this led to absence of clarity and a "lot of gaps and ambiguity" in the legislations.

Doing some plain speaking at a public event, Justice Ramana said an elaborate discussion during the law-making process reduces litigation since when courts interpret legislations, "we all know the intent of the legislature".

He was speaking at the 75th Independence Day function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA). Justice Ramana's remarks come against the backdrop of the tumultuous Monsoon session of Parliament when several bills were passed without any debate during the pandemonium following relentless protests by the Opposition over the Pegasus snooping row, farm laws, price rise and other issues.

Parliament was adjourned sine die on Wednesday two days of the scheduled date of August 13. The crucial observations of the CJI also assume significance in connection with a case where though the apex court is seized of matters concerning appointment in tribunals, the Centre went ahead and secured the passage of the amendment bill relating to tribunals without any debate in Parliament.

The bill restored the provisions struck down by the Supreme Court recently. The CJI also exhorted the members of the legal fraternity to participate in public life and share their experience about laws. He said the country's long freedom struggle was led by lawyers.

"Whether it is Mahatma Gandhi or Babu Rajendra Prasad, they were legal luminaries, who sacrificed their property, family and life and led the movement." "Most of the members of first Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were all lawyers and members from the legal fraternity. Unfortunately, we know what is happening now in the Parliament with respect to debates on laws."

He said there used to be debates in Parliament on various constitutional amendments and how they will affect the people. "Long ago, I have seen a debate during the introduction of the Industrial Disputes Act and a member from Tamil Nadu used to discuss the law so elaborately as to how the law will affect the working class.

It used to reduce the burden on the courts, as when the courts interpreted the law, we all knew the intent of the legislature," the Chief Justice said. "Now, it is a sorry state of affairs.

There are a lot of gaps and a lot of ambiguity in the law-making process due to lack of debates... There is no clarity regarding the laws. We don't know what the intent of the legislature is. We don't know for what purpose the laws are made."

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