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Need to codify the powers of Parliament, SC

This has reference to the editorial “Speaker is right” (Jan 10). The Supreme Court has now referred the matter of MPs’ expulsion to a Constitution Bench. As the Lok Sabha Speaker has decided to ignore the Delhi High Court’s notice in this regard, there is an imminent confrontation between Parliament and the judiciary.

Any attempt to scuttle the judicial jurisdiction is likely to cause chaos. Don’t we remember how the 39th Constitution Amendment added Article 329 A, keeping the Prime Minister and the Speaker out of judicial jurisdiction? The Supreme Court quashed it in Indira Gandhi vs Raj Narian (AIR, 1975 SC 2290). Subsequent events leading to the constitutional breakdown should not be repeated. The ugly situation similar to Keshav Singh vs UP Assembly should not be allowed to recur.

Parliament and the Supreme Court are highly powerful bodies meant to supplement each other and not to confront. But their powers need to be clearly defined and codified, lest they cross the Laxman Rekha, leading to an unsavoury situation.

DEVINDER SINGH, Advocate, Amritsar



Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

II

Expulsion or retention of an MP is not within Parliament’s domain as the Constitution is silent on this. The right course for the Pawan Bansal Committee should have been to recommend filing of first information reports against the accused members under the Prevention of Corruption Act and not to recommend their outright expulsion. Had the cases been registered against them, they would have been convicted, making their continuance as MPs legally untenable.

The Lok Sabha Speaker has said that he would not honour the court summons on the ground that Parliament is supreme. His stand is wholly misplaced and would downgrade Parliament’s status.

Clearly, Parliament and the judiciary, being two important wings of the Constitution, cannot circumvent each other’s authority. Matters have reached a stage where people have begun to think whether politics can be separated from morality.

S.D. BALI, Chandigarh

III

The editorial aptly corroborated the Lok Sabha’s bold action in expelling the tainted members. It is our duty to express solidarity with the Speaker, who rising above politics, has upheld the dignity of the highest institution of democracy.

L.R. SHARMA, Sundernagar

IV

The editorial is balanced. Parliament’s supremacy on taking decisions relating to the conduct of its members has been upheld. The Tribune’s 125th anniversary Supplement released by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Chandigarh (September 24, 2005) also leads us to the same conclusion.

The Lok Sabha Speaker deserves all appreciation for the bold decision. At the same time, Parliament should introduce the right to recall our representatives. This will act as a check on corrupt and non-performing members.

BABU RAM DHIMAN, Pinjore

V

The Speaker has declared that the courts have no jurisdiction on Parliament on the cash for queries scam. He has also referred to it as a matter of discipline of Parliament.

But this is a clear case of his interference with the functioning of the courts. Apparently, he is trying to teach law to the judges.

No doubt, it is matter of parliamentary discipline, but it is also a matter of law. MPs are also law-abiding citizens and they should be given full opportunity to prove their innocence.

SUDHA KAUSHAL, Kurukshetra

A flawed proposal

The Amritsar Municipal Committee’s recent plan to acquire agricultural land adjoining the city for the development of a heritage complex not only suggests its lack of vision but also lopsided town planning.

There is no iota of doubt that Amritsar is a heritage city because of its numerous historical monuments such as the Golden Temple, Gobindgarh Fort, etc. Against this background, what could be the possible rationale for a heritage complex in its vicinity? Could it be a worthwhile venture? The idea seems simply ludicrous. Hope better counsel will prevail on the powers that be.

With the fast depletion of agricultural land under the pressure of rapid urbanisation, Punjab must resist any move that seeks to reduce land under agriculture use, even if it is merely intended to preserve our state identity, nay, raison d’etre.

Col H.S. SANDHU, Chandigarh

N-plant a must

Shubha Singh’s “Focus on N-energy” (Jan 11) is a timely attempt to convince energy-deficient states like Punjab to meet their demand shortfall through nuclear power. It is well known that the potential for hydro-electric projects in Punjab and Haryana is almost negligible; there is also the problem of 
air pollution.

As solar energy is expensive for industrial purposes, the only alternative is to set up a nuclear power generation plant in Punjab, of course, after providing all safeguards against radiation as is being done in the US, France etc.

Surprisingly though India tops in information technology, it produces only 3 per cent of its power requirements through nuclear generation.

It is time Punjab shed its nuclear phobia. It must understand nuclear energy especially when new and advanced reactors are being developed abroad. It cannot afford to remain an energy-deficient state anymore.

MOHAN SINGH, Amritsar

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