DailyPost 2376

Is parliament accountable to somebody or is it the epitome of unaccountability? If that is the case how nebulous the democratic mechanism itself becomes in operation. The gap between the de-jure and de-facto has kept on increasing with every passing session of the parliament. Parliamentary sovereignty is what we espouse and what the country is proud of. It puts the country on the most robust of the footing, provides us the much-desired international positioning, elbow space and muscle power depending on the national requirements. It broadly helps maintain the much-talked checks and balances of a democratic system.

What we have witnessing in last couple of decades, keeps bringing the accountability issue again and again. Making the law of the land, amend and what not, is the core task of this august body, its other multifarious powers of legislative control notwithstanding. Do we have an arrangement where the requirements of new laws, amendments, and laws to be repealed can be initiated, recorded, preliminary work and discussion done and then put on the normal executive / parliamentary process? Audit of the laws inclusive of gaps and uncovered areas is a task which the Union Legislature ought to perform otherwise who else will perform?

Making of law today in a knee jerk reaction to a crisis or some out of the world gaping hole staring at the country’s face. Given the legal wherewithal of our law makers, and their inclination and focus, the proposed legislations are executive propositions which goes through the mandate of the legislature. More than half of the time our courts keep interpreting the law. Our legal process is impacted by the nature of laws we make. What comments does it deserve? Besides, the legislations, there are any number of other businesses that are transacted in the parliament sessions. It is here the executive is taken to task and burning issues of the nation discussed and satisfactorily resolved or moved in that direction. Is that happening? What is the quality of parliamentary debate?

Mostly, it is party wise rhetoric. How can parliament be stalled? But that has become the norm. Every session has a new issue and the session is washed off. The sins of the executive seems to be gracefully safe guarded, has become the role of the parliament for decades now. Mostly it succeeds, very rarely it fails. People are forced to surrender even their right to know, that too when they are the final sovereign. A non-functional parliament is not what we live for and aspire of. For doing nothing in that case from Lutyens’ Delhi bungalow to all financial and other perks remain intact for our parliamentarians, added to that a new swanky official building. Even attendance is not guaranteed, participation a distant dream. How many of our parliamentarians are equipped enough to play a stellar role in the temple of democracy. Accountability will start from there.

Sanjay Sahay

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