Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Top Stories

'Do They Have No Right To Express An Opinion?' : Supreme Court Asks Petitioner Challenging State Assembly Resolutions On Central Laws To Do More Research

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
19 March 2021 6:59 AM GMT
Do They Have No Right To Express An Opinion? : Supreme Court Asks Petitioner Challenging State Assembly Resolutions On Central Laws To Do More Research
x

The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned a petition which challenges the competence of state legislative assemblies to pass resolutions about Parliamentary laws, by asking the petitioner's lawyer to do more research."You do more research. We don't want to create more problems than solving", the Chief Justice of India told Senior Advocate Soumya Chakraborty, who was representing the...

The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned a petition which challenges the competence of state legislative assemblies to pass resolutions about Parliamentary laws, by asking the petitioner's lawyer to do more research.

"You do more research. We don't want to create more problems than solving", the Chief Justice of India told Senior Advocate Soumya Chakraborty, who was representing the petitioner.

The petition was filed by a NGO called "Samta Andolan Samiti" challenging the practice of assemblies passing resolutions criticizing central laws such as CAA, farm laws etc.

Senior Advocate Chakraborty submitted before the bench comprising CJI, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramaninan that the privileges of the legislators cannot be used to comment on matters which are beyond the jurisdiction of the legislature.

"The immunity given to legislators under Article 194(2) are with regard to adherence to rules and procedure of legislative assembles. If they make a departure from rules of legislative procedure ,there is absolutely no immunity given to legislators", the senior lawyer submitted.

When the counsel cited the example of the resolution passed by the Kerala assembly against the Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019, the CJI asked : "Why can't such a resolution be passed?"

"This is the opinion of members of Kerala assembly. They have not told people to disobey the law. They have only requested the Parliament to abrogate the law. It is only an opinion expressed by the Kerala assembly, which has no force of law", the CJI continued.

In reply, the lawyer said that the assembly has no jurisdiction to comment about CAA.

"We are with you if you say that Kerala Assembly has no jurisdiction to set aide the law made by the Parliament. But do they have no right to express an opinion?", the CJI asked.

Responding to this, Chakraborty argued that the rules of procedure of the assemblies barred such resolutions. The lawyer cited Rule 109 of the Kerala Assembly procedure which deals with admissibility of resolutions. According to this rule, a resolution should not relate to a matter which is primarily not the concern of the State, the lawyer said.

"How can you say this is not a concern of the state?", CJI asked.

The counsel then referred to another clause of Rule 109 which state that a resolution should not relate to a matter which is pending adjudication in court. Since the Supreme Court was already seized of over 60 writ petitions challenging the CAA on the date of resolution, the Speaker of Kerala Assembly should not have allowed the presentation of the resolution, the lawyer argued.

At this point, the bench asked the lawyer if there is any precedent interpreting the scope of such legislative rules.

Chakraborty replied that there is no precedent as such; but he referred to the judgment authored by Justice PB Gajendragadkar in the Special Reference case reported in 1965(1) SCR 143. He said that the decision has interpreted the interplay between the fundamental right to free speech under Article 19(1)(a) and the legislative privileges under Article 194.

At this point, the bench asked Chakraborty to do more research on the issue and adjourned the matter by four weeks.





Next Story