Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar on Wednesday raised the issue of the Supreme Court striking down the NJAC act during his maiden speech in the House.
“A glaring instance of severe compromise of Parliamentary sovereignty and disregard of the mandate of the people,” he said.
He said power of the House is supreme and using this Constitutional power to amend, Parliament effected wholesome structural governance changes to further spinally strengthen democracy. This has been by way of incorporation of Part IX, IX A and IX B in the Constitution providing a comprehensive mechanism for Panchayati Raj, Municipalities and Co-operative Societies. In a similar vein, Parliament in a much needed historic step, passed the 99th Constitutional Amendment Bill paving way for the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC).
“This historic parliamentary mandate was undone by the Supreme Court on October 16, 2015 by a majority of 4:1 finding the same as not being in consonance with the judicially evolved doctrine of ‘Basic Structure’ of the Constitution.
“There is no parallel to such a development in democratic history where a duly legitimised constitutional prescription has been judicially undone. A glaring instance of severe compromise of parliamentary sovereignty and disregard of the mandate of the people of which this house and the Lok Sabha are custodians.”
He said that with each election, there has been progressively authentic enhancement in the representation gradient.
“Presently, Parliament reflects with authenticity the mandate and aspirations of the people as never before,” he added.
He also emphasised that obstruction and disruption of proceedings as Parliamentary practice or option are antithetical to democratic values. Contemporaneous scenario on this count is concerning and makes it imperative for us to follow the high standards set in the Constituent Assembly. “We need to be cognizant of severe public discomfort and disillusionment at lack of decorum in the temple of democracy,” the new chairman added.