M A I N   N E W S

Speaker to seek Kalam’s view on SC order
 Jharkhand floor test
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 10
An all-party meeting minus the BJP convened by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today decided to seek a Presidential reference on yesterday’s Supreme Court order on the Jharkhand trust vote as the legislature had taken it as encroaching upon its jurisdiction.

Mr Chatterjee, after a marathon meeting, told newspersons that a request is to be made to Dr A P J Abdul Kalam through the government to seek the Supreme Court’s opinion through Presidential reference under Article 143 of the Constitution defining the relations of the legislature vis-à-vis judicial verdicts.

The proposal to refer the matter to the President through the government came after an all-party meeting convened by Mr Chatterjee in the wake of yesterday’s order of the Supreme Court advancing the date of the floor test in Jharkhand for tomorrow.

Mr Chatterjee said he had called the meeting of all parties because it was necessary to discuss the matter as it “affected” the power of the legislature. “With all respects to the Supreme Court and without going to the political merits of the issue, to my mind, the order of the honourable Supreme Court has created a disturbing situation”.

The Speaker said so far as the legislature was concerned, Article 122 and 212 were two of the most important provisions which symbolised the supremacy of the legislature within its own sphere. These Articles prohibited judicial scrutiny of legislative business, he said.

“In my opinion, as has been suggested by many honourable leaders, to resolve all questions, the respected President through the executive may be requested to seek Opinion of the honourable Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution”, Mr Chatterjee said, adding that “this showed our faith in the Supreme Court”.

Stating that the power of the legislature in the conduct of its business could not be interefered upon by the courts, he said: “We cannot discuss the conduct of honourable judges in Parliament. The judiciary is supreme in its own sphere. The Constitution has provided for supremacy of the legislature.”

“Today, unfortunately, because of the interim order of the Supreme Court, the contours of area of supremacy of different organs, specially that of the legislature… have got blurred”, he said.

This was not a “partisan” matter and the meeting had not discussed yesterday’s order of the Supreme Court on merit, but it was deliberated upon whether it affected the functioning of the legislature.

The all-party meeting was convened after several members of Left parties raised the issue in both Houses of Parliament today. The Speaker sought to know whether the judiciary could direct the Chief Secretary or the Director-General of Police (DGP) to ensure attendance of MLAs as these were the issues strictly within the jurisdiction of the legislature.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which defended the Supreme Court’s decision on the ground that the constitutional provisions and conventions in installing the UPA government headed by the JMM supremo Shibu Soren in Jharkhand were given a go-by, walked out of the meeting convened by the Lok Sabha Speaker.

BJP spokesman V.K. Malhotra told The Tribune that “such an exercise is against Article 121 (1) of the Constitution, which prohibits Parliament from discussing any judgement delivered by the courts.”

Mr Malhotra charged the UPA government with changing Governors and top officials after assuming office. ‘’This decision is highly improper. The UPA government has lost its balance and is trying browbeat even the judiciary”.

The Supreme Court yesterday ordered advancement of the floor test of the Shibu Soren government, besides directing the government against nomination of an Anglo-Indian member in the Jharkhand Assembly till the rightful government took over.


BJP boycotts all-party meeting

New Delhi, March 10
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today boycotted an all-party meeting, convened by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to discuss the implications arising out of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on the floor test in Jharkhand, saying that such an exercise is against Article 121 (1) of the Constitution.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh said Article 121 (1) prohibited Parliament from discussing any judgement.

But there was, however, exception in the case of impeachment of any sitting judge,” he added.

“This meeting is a part of the Parliament and therefore we do not want to be a party,” Mr Singh told. — UNI


Furore in RS over court ruling in Jharkhand
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 10
The Left party members in the Rajya Sabha today questioned the "judicial activism" in the case related to political developments in Jharkhand and called for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue. The BJP members, however, said the members could not question the Supreme Court ruling.

As soon as Mr Nilotpal Basu (CPM) rose to speak, BJP leaders including Ms Sushma Swaraj and Mr Balbir Punj, asked how the member could question the apex court ruling.

Deputy chairman K. Rehman Khan told the BJP members that Mr Basu had been permitted by the Chair to raise the issue. However, the BJP members were unrelenting in their demand.

Amid the din, Mr Basu said all institutions under the Constitution should have respect for each other. The court ruling, he observed, amounted to interfering in the functioning of the legislature and called for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.

Noted Lawyer and nominated member Fali S. Nariman also wanted to speak on the court ruling when Ms Swaraj said he should refrain from speaking on "judicial activism" as he was a lawyer in the case relating to political developments in Goa. 

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