Monday, August 1, 2016

Strip Speakers of powers to decide on political defections

Several legal experts and political leaders on Sunday called for stripping judicial powers from Speakers of legislative Houses and entrusting them to the Election Commission, particularly in respect of the powers to decide pleas seeking disqualification of legislators who defect to other parties.

Declaring that this was not a new idea, they made it clear that the possibility of entrusting the EC with the job is included in the country's Constitution, in its Article 103 (2). Those who called for stripping speakers of some of their powers included eminent jurists like Justice B P Jeevan Reddy, retired judge of Supreme Court, former Supreme Court and the AP High Court judges, Justice B Sudarsan Reddy, Justice P Lakshmana Reddy and Justice B Seshasayana Reddy, former Union minister S Jaipal Reddy and Jayaprakash Narayan of Lok Satta.They spoke at a seminar on `Political Defections and Role of Speakers' organised by the Jana Vignana Vedika.

The consensus among the speakers at the meet was that it was time for the people to unite and hold ruling political parties accountable for their actions of encouraging political defections and efforts to eliminate any significant presence of opposition parti es. Several of the speakers also pointed out that the Law Commission has been asking the Parliament to enact such a law by amen ding the current statute in the Constitution.

Such a move, Justice Lakshmana Reddy said, is not meant to belittle the office of the Speaker. In fact, it would save the Speaker's office from being stuck in an uncomfortable position, he added.

Justice Jeevan Reddy went one step ahead and urged the people to debate the need for bringing in apolitical persons as speakers.Persons who are not members of any political party and persons who are not members of the either of the Houses, be it the Legislatue or the Council, should be brought in as speakers, he said.

Courtesy: The Times of India

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