Jagdeep Dhankhar in Parliament
Jagdeep Dhankhar in Parliament

On day 1 as RS head Dhankarraps scrapping of NJAC bill

Dhankhar’s remarks also come in the backdrop of recent run-ins between the government and the judiciary over appointment of judges.

NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar in his maiden speech in the House on Wednesday criticised the judiciary for scrapping the NJAC bill, terming it as an instance of “severe compromise of parliamentary sovereignty”, and said the government’s three organs should respect the “Laxman Rekha”.

Asserting that the National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) bill had “unprecedented” support of Parliament and members “unanimously” voted in its favour, he said there is “no parallel to such a development in democratic history where a duly legitimised constitutional prescription has been judicially undone”.

Democracy blossoms and flourishes when its three facets -- the legislature, the judiciary and the executive -- scrupulously adhere to their respective domains, Dhankhar said, adding that the doctrine of separation of powers must be respected.

He said that “any incursion by one institution, in the domain of the other, has the potential to upset the governance apple cart”.

Referring to the 99th Constitutional amendment Bill that entailed the formation of the NJAC, he said the “historic” parliamentary mandate on it was “undone by the Supreme Court on October 16, 2015 by a majority of 4:1 finding the same as not being in consonance with the judicially evolved doctrine of ‘Basic Structure’ of the Constitution”.

Dhankhar’s remarks also come in the backdrop of recent run-ins between the government and the judiciary over appointment of judges.

“This House needs to catalyse this wholesome environment to promote synergic functioning of constitutional institutions, emphasising need to respect Laxman Rekha,” he said. ↔ More on P7

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