Show statesmanship, not brinkmanship, SC tells lawmakers

A bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar says all concerned should ponder over the need to evolve and adhere to good practices befitting the august body

Show statesmanship, not brinkmanship, SC tells lawmakers

For representation only. Photo credit: iStock

Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, January 28

Maintaining that Parliament and state legislative assemblies are regarded as sacred places, just like a temple of justice, the Supreme Court on Friday asked lawmakers to show statesmanship, and not brinkmanship.

“As a matter of fact, the first place where justice is dispensed to the common man is Parliament/Legislative Assembly albeit by a democratic process,” a three-judge Bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar said while quashing the suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from Maharashtra Assembly for a year.

Supreme Court quashes suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from Maharashtra Assembly

“Being House of respected and honourable members, who are emulated by their ardent followers and elected from their respective constituency, they are expected to show statesmanship and not brinkmanship. In the House, their goal is and must be one — so as to ensure the welfare and happiness of ‘we the people of this nation’. In any case, there can be no place for disorderly conduct in the House much less “grossly disorderly,” it said.

“It is a place where policies and laws are propounded for governing the citizenry. It is here that the entire range of activities concerning the masses until the last mile, are discussed and their destinies are shaped. That, in itself, is the process of dispensing justice to the citizens of this country,” the Bench noted.

Noting that disorderly conduct must be dealt with sternly for ensuring orderly functioning of the House, the top court said, “But, that action must be constitutional, legal, rational and as per the procedure established by law”.

It said, “This case has thrown up an occasion for all concerned to ponder over the need to evolve and adhere to good practices befitting the august body; and appropriately denounce and discourage proponents of undemocratic activities in the House, by democratically elected representatives.”

Maintaining that legislature was meant for “robust and dispassionate debates and discussion inspired by the highest traditions of truth and righteousness” for resolving the burning issues confronting the nation/State and for dispensing justice—political, social and economic,” it said, “The happenings in the House is reflection of the contemporary societal fabric.”

The court said, “It is in public domain (through print, electronic and social media) that the members of the Parliament or Assembly/Council of the State, spend much of the time in a hostile atmosphere. The Parliament and Legislative Assemblies are becoming a more and more intransigent place”.

It said: “The philosophical tenet, one must agree to disagree, is becoming seldom seen or a rarity during the debates. It has become common to hear that the House could not complete its usual scheduled business and most of the time had been spent in jeering and personal attacks against each other instead of erudite constructive and educative debates consistent with the highest tradition of the august body. This is the popular sentiment gaining ground amongst the common man.

“It is disheartening for the observers. They earnestly feel that it is high time that corrective steps are taken by all concerned and the elected representatives would do enough to restore the glory and the standard of intellectual debates of the highest order, as have been chronicled by their predecessors. That legacy should become more prominent than the rumpus caused very often.”

Noting that aggression during the debates has no place in the setting of a country governed by the Rule of Law, the top court said, “Even a complex issue needs to be resolved in a congenial atmosphere by observing collegiality and showing full respect and deference towards each other. They ought to ensure optimum utilisation of quality time of the House, which is very precious, and is the need of the hour especially when we the people of India that is Bharat, take credit of being the oldest civilisation on the planet and also being the world’s largest democracy (demographically).”

“For becoming world leaders and self-dependant/reliant, quality of debates in the House ought to be of the highest order and directed towards intrinsic constitutional and native issues confronting the common man of the nation/States, who are at the crossroad of semi-sesquicentennial or may we say platinum or diamond jubilee year on completion of 75 years post-independence,” it said.

#BJP #SupremeCourt

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