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LS Speaker favours recall of MPs to check disruptions
September 20, 2007 17:34 IST
With repeated disruptions of the Parliament raising questions about the accountability of the members of Parliament, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Thursday favoured introducing the system of recalling some members.
"I am in favour of introducing the principle of recall," he said ahead of the 53rd Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference to be held here later this month. The right to recall as a strategy for enforcing greater accountability of Parliamentarians is expected to come up for discussion in the conference.
Chatterjee said that such a principal was prevalent in some countries, including the United States, where one governor had been recalled.
The speaker contended that since the MPs were elected by the people, the voters should have the power to recall them if they were found useless
Speaking about judicial activism in the legislative domain, the lawyer-turned Speaker said he was not against the judiciary and maintained that the Constitution had clearly demarcated the areas of the judiciary and the legislature
"There should be a well-defined Lakshman Rekha [Images]. Judges cannot direct what the Speaker should do and Parliament cannot appoint the judges," he said.
The ten-day meet will have six workshops on climate change and global warming; global water and energy use; balancing economic development and environmental protection; parliamentary practise and procedure; role, rights and responsibilities of the opposition and strengthening financial scrutiny.
Just as people can change the government, said Chatterjee, they can punish the MPs who disrupt the Parliament's proceedings by seeking their recall.
"It is the failure on the part of a certain section of people coming into Parliament," he said, adding that the media too had a role in it as they gave prominence to disturbances and not debates.
"I feel the political parties will realise that they are missing opportunities to raise vital issues and rectify their mistakes," he added.
Speaking about how the opposition can play a constructive role, Chatterjee said there was no harm in having a strong opposition. "The opposition has a different point of view to present to the government," he said.
Chatterjee, who is the president of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, will inaugurate the 'Commonwealth Women's Parliamentarian Conference' on September 24 and the main conference on September 25.
Over 600 delegates from Commonwealth countries are likely to participate in the conference.