Monday, August 1, 2016

Need to raise standard of the office of Speaker: Jeevan Reddy

Law Commission former chairman and retired Supreme Court judge B.P. Jeevan Reddy has stressed the need for raising the standard of the office of the Speaker.

He said so long as the functions of the Speaker were limited to running the House, there were not many occasions when the Speaker became the centre of controversy. The trouble, however, arose when the Tenth schedule was introduced in the Constitution dealing with the disqualification of the members. The Tenth schedule introduced certain salutary provisions and at the same time, introduced a few provisions which had proved to be acutely controversial. The election results to various Assemblies in 1967 and subsequent general elections brought to the fore the phenomenon of “aya Rams and gaya Rams” and it led to horse-trading, corruption, money power entering the arena of political life.

This led to introduction of the Tenth schedule clauses which stipulated that the decision on disqualification of the members was left to the speaker and that his decision would be final, he said. The vesting of this extraordinary power in the Speaker had proved to be “highly controversial” giving rise to several political controversies and inviting interference of the courts on innumerable occasions. Justice Jeevan Reddy was presiding over a seminar on political defections and role of Speakers organised by Jana Chaitanya Vedika, Lok Satta, Forum for Good Governance and other organisations here on Sunday. Former Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy spoke.

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