Debate in Parliament and not jeer at each other for nation to be world leader: Supreme Court

‘After 75 years of Independence, elected members are expected to show statesmanship and not brinkmanship’

Updated - January 28, 2022 11:45 pm IST

Published - January 28, 2022 05:17 pm IST - NEW DELHI

The court pointed out that Parliament/ Assemblies were becoming more and more an intransigent place. File image.

The court pointed out that Parliament/ Assemblies were becoming more and more an intransigent place. File image.

A nation aspiring to be a "world leader" should debate on the welfare of its citizens rather than make Parliament a stage to exchange jeers and launch personal attacks on one another, the Supreme Court said in a judgment on Friday.

To see Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies ridicule each other instead of engaging in constructive debates in Houses is hardly worthy of the claim that "we are the oldest civilisation on the planet and the world’s largest democracy".

With the completion of 75 years of Independence and ambitions of becoming a world leader, elected members should at least know that they are expected to show statesmanship and not brinkmanship in the House.

"For becoming world leaders and self-dependent/reliant, quality of debates in the House ought to be of the highest order," a three-judge Bench led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar said in the judgment.

Legislature is the first place where justice is dispensed to the common man through a democratic process, it observed.

Suspension of 12 BJP MLAs

The order dealt with the year-long suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for disorderly conduct.

Parliament or the State legislatures are no places to create a ruckus. "It is a place where policies and laws are propounded for governing the citizenry. It is here that the entire range of activities concerning the masses until the last mile, are discussed and their destinies are shaped," Justice Khanwilkar, who authored the judgment, wrote.

The goal of the House was to ensure the welfare and happiness of "we the people of this nation".

The court pointed out that Parliament/ Assemblies were becoming more and more an intransigent place. "The philosophical tenet that one must agree to disagree is seldom seen during debates... It has become common to hear that the House could not complete its usual scheduled business and most of the time had been spent in jeering and personal attacks against each other," it noted.

The Bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and C.T. Ravikumar, said disheartened observers felt it was high time to take corrective steps.

Justice Khanwilkar observed, "Aggression during the debates has no place in the setting of country governed by the Rule of Law. Even a complex issue needs to be resolved in a congenial atmosphere by observing collegiality and showing full respect and deference towards each other".

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