After President, CJI concern about the state of affairs of Parliament

New Delhi: On the eve of Independence Day, in his address to the nation Hon’ble President of India Ram Nath Kovid concern the state of affairs of just-concluded monsoon session of Parliament. Now on Independence Day the CJI also commented on the functioning of parliament and said that one of the chief reasons for the falling standards of parliamentary debates was the absence of intellectuals and professionals like lawyers in the Parliament.

On Sunday, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana rued the “sorry state of affairs” in Parliament, where laws are being passed without constructive debates, leading to legislation with “a lot of ambiguities”.

Speaking at the Independence Day ceremony organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), the CJI recounted the well-constructed debates that used to take place during the initial years after the independence.

“Different laws used to be debated and deliberated upon. So, the burden of the courts in interpreting or implementing the laws used to be less. We had a clear picture (of) what the legislature wanted to tell…why they were making such legislation. Now (there is a) sorry state of affairs…” remarked justice Ramana.

He added: “(Now) we see legislation with a lot of gaps, a lot of ambiguities in making laws. There are no clarity in-laws. We don’t know for what purpose the law is made…which is creating lots of litigation, inconvenience, loss to the government and inconvenience to the public.”

The CJI also said that one of the chief reasons for the falling standards of parliamentary debates was the absence of intellectuals and professionals like lawyers in Parliament.

“We have seen how India’s independence struggle was led by lawyers like Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Nehru, Babu Rajendra Prasad…Unfortunately over a period of time, you know what has been happening in the parliament…This is what happens if intellectuals and professionals like lawyers are not there in the Houses,” regretted justice Ramana.
He urged the lawyers to participate actively in social life and public life. “Don’t confine yourself to your profession, earning money and living comfortably. I hope and expect good days will come to the country and you will contribute your knowledge, wisdom and experience,” said the CJI.

On Wednesday, a bench, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, too highlighted how the Union government was not assessing the working of a law, its societal impact, manpower and infrastructure required before notifying new legislation.

While dealing with massive vacancies in consumer courts across the country, Justice Kaul had pulled up the Centre for not conducting a legislative impact study before it notified a new consumer protection law in July 2020 and rehauled the entire legal regime, ranging from a wider definition of “consumer,” to enhance the monetary jurisdiction of the consumer courts at all levels.

“Once the legislative committee made these changes, what impact will it have on litigation is the study that should have been carried out. This is the irony of all legislation – you never do legislative impact study,” the judge had commented.