Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2023 > Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Mar 11, 2023

Mainstream, VOL 61 No 11, March 11, 2023

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, Mar 11, 2023

Saturday 11 March 2023


Letter to the readers, Mainstream, March 11, 2023

Vice President & Chair of the Rajya Sabha Must Act in all Fairness

Our constitution envisages the Parliament as a space for free speech and debate. Recently expressed public remarks and actions by Mr. Jagdeep Dhankar, the Vice President of India and who is constitutionally mandated to Chair the Rajya Sabha – the upper house of India’s Parliament are causing concern. In January of this year, Vice President Dhankhar created a flutter when he questioned the celebrated Kesavananda Bharati case verdict of 1973 by the Supreme Court which had ruled that Parliament can amend the Constitution but not its basic structure. The Vice President while chairing the Upper house is supposed to act fair and impartial while overseeing parliamentary activity and make all members of the house at ease that their views are being heard and recorded in the deliberations. There has been criticism of the role of the Vice-President, Dhankhar while dealing with some opposition MPs during Rajya Sabha proceeding during the discussion on the motion of thanks on the President’s address. [1] Infact an entire intervention with questions raised by the leader of the opposition Congress party were expunged from the records of the Parliament under the orders of the Chair. Political proximity of the Chair to the ruling Party, should not drive him to remove from parliamentary proceedings criticism and uncomfortable questions posed to the Government. Now the media has reported that Mr Dhankar has appointed members of his official entourage, four of them serving in the vice-president’s secretariat to multiple parliamentary and standing committees under the Rajya Sabha. Members of Parliament and observers point this out as unprecedented in Indian Parliamentary history. Utmost care must be taken by the Government not to break with established rules of conduct and parliamentary procedure. Any conduct seen as an abuse of power by the Chair with regards to reporting or functioning of committees or conduct of the business of Rajya Sabha must be avoided at all costs. Allegations of instances of breach of rules and abuse of power by the Government and or by some holding top constitutional posts during the tenure of Narendra Modi-led BJP Govt administrations seem to be growing. The opposition must keep showing the mirror of constitutional conduct to the Government and keep the world informed.

March 11, 2023 — HK

[1For more information read: S.N. Sahu. Impairment of impartial functioning of presiding officers of the Parliament does not augur well for democracy, in Leaflet, March 5, 2023

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.