Protests during session should not violate dignity of the House: Lok Sabha Speaker

Loka Sabha Speaker Om Birla being felicitated by Legislative Assembly Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri and Council Chairman Basavaraj Horatti during a joint session of the legislature in Bengaluru on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Coming down heavily on the stalling of legislature/parliamentary sessions due to protests, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Friday maintained that such disruptions take away the right of members to raise issues of public importance.

Delivering a talk on ‘Democracy: Protection of Parliamentary Values’ in a joint session of the State legislature, he stated that the protests held during the session should be in accordance with the dignity of the House as well as parliamentary norms. “Such disruptions come in the way of ensuring the fulfilment of responsibilities by the executive, as it would not be possible to debate important Bills,” he said. “This does not mean there should be no opposition or differences of opinion. In fact, opposition, differences of opinion, arguments, debates, and protests are all the basis of democracy. But protests should conform to the dignity of the House and should be in tune with the spirit of parliamentary norms.”

In this background, he said there was a need for holding serious debate on the methods of inculcating discipline, courtesy, and tolerance during legislature/parliamentary sessions.

Mr. Birla also observed that the conduct of elected representatives in their private lives too should be a model for others so that the dignity of the House is elevated. “It is a matter of concern that legislature debates are not meeting the required standards and even the participation of legislators in such debates is not to the expected level,” he observed.

Strict action

Karnataka Speaker Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri called upon all the four pillars of democracy, including the judiciary and media, to introspect on upholding democratic values. He proposed strict action, such as suspension and withholding of allowances, against members who either disrupt the proceedings of the House or boycott them. He also recommended increasing the annual duration of the session.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 3:32:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/protests-during-session-should-not-violate-dignity-of-the-house-lok-sabha-speaker/article36660716.ece

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