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No quality debate in Parliament, “sorry state of affairs”, says CJI NV Ramanna

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Condemning the functioning of Parliament in strong terms, Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramanna on Sunday said it is a sorry state of affairs and there is “no proper debate” in the house.

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“Now it is a sorry state of affairs (on Parliament debate). The laws have a lot of ambiguity. And the courts do not know the object and intent behind enacting of law,” CJI said.

He termed parliamentary debates after independence as very illuminating. “If you see debates which used to take place in Houses in those days, they used to be very wise, constructive,” he added. 

He said there is a lack of quality debate in Parliament while enacting laws which leads to litigations. “It seems that there is a lack of quality debate in Parliament while enacting laws. This leads to a lot of litigation & the courts, in the absence of quality debate, are unable to fathom the intent and object behind the new law,” CJI NV Ramana said at a flag hoisting ceremony in the Supreme Court campus. 

He said post-independence, lawyers were in Parliament in large numbers which probably led to knowledgeable debate. He said the lawyer community should rededicate themselves to public life and bring change in parliamentary debates.

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“(There is) No clarity of laws. We do not know what the purpose of the law is. It is a loss to the public. This is when lawyers and intellectuals are not in the Houses,” he added.

“If we look at our freedom fighters, many of them were also in the legal fraternity. The first members of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were filled with lawyers’ community,” Justice Ramana said at an event to mark the Independence Day at the Supreme Court.

“Unfortunate what you see now in the Houses… Debates back then in the Houses were very constructive. I saw the debates over financial bills and very constructive points were made. Laws were discussed and deliberated. One had a clear picture of the legislative part of the law,” he said.

Ramana lamented the lack of quality debate in Parliament while enacting laws. “This leads to a lot of litigation and the courts, in the absence of quality debate, are unable to fathom the intent and object behind the new law,” the CJI added.

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