Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's decision to convene an all-party meeting after declaring that he will not submit to the High Court in proceedings connected with the expulsion of 11 MPs is unfortunate. The issue is not political but legal in nature.
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The expulsion is well within the ambit of judicial scrutiny. At the same time, none of the 11 should go unpunished by Parliament just because there is no provision in the Constitution to expel those caught accepting money for raising questions in the House. The framers of the Constitution could not possibly have foreseen such possibilities 56 years ago.
The Constitution should be amended and a standoff thus avoided between the pillars of democracy.
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The Judiciary is a creation of the Constitution as much as Parliament is. True, Parliament is sovereign because it represents the people. But it cannot go beyond the limits placed on it by the founding fathers. It is the Judiciary's function to review Parliament's actions. No more, no less. As they say, you can't move the goal posts after start of play.
A mature approach would be to let the court review the decision. In fact, some guidelines to deal with similar situations may emerge.
M. Abraham Mathew,
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MPs always assert Parliament's superiority - until they are personally affected by the proceedings. Once affected, they turn to the Judiciary for help. Why this hypocrisy?