SC declines to hear plea for guidelines for parliament

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it knew its “Lakshman Rekha” (boundary) as one of the three pillars of state apparatus as it declined to entertain a PIL seeking framing of guidelines for smooth functioning of the parliament without disruption.

The public interest suit was filed by the NGO Foundation for Restoration of National Values (FRNV) on August 12 in the wake of the “unreasonable and unjustified” disruption of proceedings of parliament by the Congress-led opposition protesting against Lalit Modi issue and Vyapam scam during the monsoon session.

“We know our Lakshman Rekha and we should not cross it,” said a bench of Chief Justice H.L.Dattu and Justice Amitava Roy while declining the plea for framing of guidelines to fill the vacuum in the law on the issue.

Telling advocate Ravi Prakash Mehrotra, appearing for the NGO that “in democracy parliamentarians knows how to function” and “we don’t have to teach them how to function”, the court said that it was not in its domain to say whether parliament “should conduct itself in this manner or it should not conduct in that manner” and disagreed that there was a vacuum in law on how lawmakers should conduct themselves.

Chief Justice Dattu was unrelenting on the position that it was not for the apex court to counsel parliament over its functioning, even as the lawyer pointed out that even the President Pranab Mukherjee had expressed his concern over disruptions in parliament in no uncertain terms.

Asking the NGO to make representation to the parliamentarians as to what they should do or not do, the court said that law makers were “experienced and had wisdom. They are elected representatives. They know their responsibilities and surely they know how to conduct themselves”.

While seeking framing of guidelines for parliament’s orderly functioning without disruptions and impediments from members, thus causing a drain on public exchequer, the NGO had expressed concern over the “deterioration in the standards of governance in India and the commensurate inability of the state to abide by the commitments and principles enshrined in our constitution”.

“The fact that governance is indeed on the decline, is borne by the fact that numerous committees and commissions appointed by the government of India, have, over the years, pointed to systemic and other lapses that are still in need of urgent remedy,” it said.

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