White Washed Winter Session

Mohit Sharma
22 Dec 2016 5:16 AM GMT
White Washed Winter Session
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“What the elder person does is followed by others; what he demonstrates by action, that people follow.”

  - Bhagwad Gita

According to the epic Mahabharata, the role of elders in the assembly has been emphasised in these words;

  1. That’s not an assembly where there are no elder men,

  2. Those are not elders who do not speak with righteousness,

  3. That’s no righteousness where there is no truth,

  4. That’s not the truth which lead one to deceit.

That’s epic Mahabharata, now in our Parliament or State Legislatures what we see is on the contrary, an assembly which though is filled with elder men (men include women also S. 8 IPC), but who are clueless about being righteous, for whom being fragile & fraught filled with mischief makes the day, where truth is of such nature which always lead to deceit.

My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest should have the same opportunity as the strongest, those were the words of the great M.K. Gandhi. Under Constitutional scheme this principle is being enshrined under Arts. 38 & 39 r/w Socialist clause to the preamble. The Supreme Court reiterated the same in D.S. Nakara v. U.O.I. (1983) 1 SCC 305. But we are till today even after 66 + years of Republic are clueless about this.

According to Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Parliament is not only a legislative but a deliberative body. So far as its deliberative functions are concerned it will be open to us to make very valuable contributions, and it will depend on our work whether we justify or do not justify this two-chamber system which is now an integral part of our Constitution. What are our Parliamentarians try to justify by doing pepper spray, by bashing each other like school kids ? Their ethics (un) I guess. Are they really our representatives in the Legislatures (Parliament or State) ? I do wonder & all of us do wonder it sometimes, many a times I must say (emphasis added)…

The salaries & allowances of the Parliamentarians are being paid from the consolidated fund as defined under Art. 266 of our Constitution. Now whose money is this ? Why are we giving this money to these humpty-dumpty ? Certainly the money belongs to us. We are paying them to work. But what are they doing ? Not work, certainly ! Allegations on each other, funny games which somewhat turns into rapid fire to pepper fire. The Privileges guaranteed to them under Arts. 105(2) & 122 in case of Parliament & Arts. 194(2) & 212 in case of State Legislatures are clearly being misused. The founding fathers might not have even thought, that these privileges will be taken for granted like this.

Men & governments tend to live up to the dignity of their habitation & this high service justifies the art of architecture, those were the words of Sir Herbert Baker. What habitation, what dignity, what service & what architecture when some politicians or rather I would say most of them (emphasis added) go on making mindless statements like questioning the national integrity, army & its credibility, shaming victims of rape etc., go on filling ‘Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation’ (popularly known as “SLAPP” suits) to cull speech & expression, though they tender apology later on. But have we voted them for this ? No No No, is the answer. Being productive is the trend of the day, but our Hon’ble parliamentarians seems to be little out of trend or rather I would say completely of trend (the expression ‘Hon’ble’ here means opposite)… One of the Fundamental Duty enshrined under our Constitution under Part IV-A, under Art. 51-A(j) says, to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual & collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavour and achievement, but perhaps our impercipient parliamentarians seems to be exempted. 

Business done by Parliament in Winter Session (16th Nov. - 16th Dec.)

Total number of bills introduced were 10. Out of total 4 stands passed, 6 are still pending. Which means not even 50% of the work is being done by the Parliament, this winer session, though the story remains all the same in other seasons also.

Bills passed:

  • The Taxation Laws (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016,introduces a scheme under which taxpayers may declare undisclosed income. On this income, 49.9% of tax and penalties will be levied, and a further 25% will be locked in an interest free deposit for four years. Also, increases the tax and penalty on possession of undisclosed income found during searches by tax authorities, (introduced & passed as money bill).

  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2014, which replaces the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 and expands the types of disabilities that are eligible for entitlements.

  • The Appropriation (No.4) Bill, 2015, authorises expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India.

  1. The Appropriation (No.5) Bill, 2015, authorises expenditure from the Consolidated Fund of India.

Bills Pending:

The Major Port Authorities Bill, 2016, The Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, 2016, The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2016, The National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Second Amendment) Bill, 2016, The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016, The Admiralty (Jurisdiction and Settlement of Maritime Claims) Bill, 2016. The Merchant Shipping Bill, 2016 (this was tabled though, but now stands withdrawn).

It just doesn't end up here, the work which is pending before the Parliament is immense, there is backlog which keeps on increasing every time they procrastinate. Their habits seems to be like that of an elementary school kid who shirk away from his work & then gets beaten up by his teacher first & parents thereafter or vice-versa. But here, there is nobody to bang them up at least for 5 years. What a pity !

Mohit Sharma is a Lawyer practising in the Trial Courts & the High Court of Himachal Pradesh, Shimla.

[The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of LiveLaw and LiveLaw does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same]

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