Presiding officers, constitutional/ legal experts & other stakeholders will be consulted for strengthening anti defection law:  Om Birla

New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla Chaired a meeting of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies in India in Parliament House Complex, today. Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha and Presiding Officers from 17 States and UTs participated in the meeting.

Speaking on this occasion, Shri Birla highlighted that debates and discussions in legislatures should be dignified and every Member should conduct themselves in a manner that will add to the dignity and decorum of the House. Shri Birla further added that there should not be any disruption during Addresses of President and Governor. Presiding Officers should meet regularly and discuss these issues so that meaningful discussion takes place in legislatures, suggested Shri Birla.

Issues like strengthening anti-defection law, awards to outstanding legislatures and minimum number of sittings of legislatures were also discussed in the meeting. Speaking about strengthening the Anti-Defection Law Shri Birla said that Presiding Officers, Constitution Experts, legal scholars and other stakeholders are will be consulted for amendments to the law.

Speaking on the issue of expunction of certain words from parliamentary proceedings, Shri Birla urged the Presiding Officers to inform the Members that no word has been banned but the words which have been expunged from the proceedings as per the directions of the Chair have been compiled. Presiding Officers should guide the Members for dignified conduct in the House, said Shri Birla. He added that efforts must be made to enhance the number of sittings of State Legislatures.

Emphasizing on the need for a single platform for information about legislatures in the country, Shri Birla said that a single digital platform is being prepared and debates of all the legislatures in the country will soon be available on this platform. He sought cooperation from the Presiding Officers for sharing of debates of State legislatures so that a robust digital platform can be prepared.  Speaking on uniformity of rules and procedures, Shri Birla said that uniformity of rules and procedures for all democratically elected legislative bodies, including Panchayats, will strengthen democracy from grassroots level onwards. 

Shri Birla also informed that a Parliamentary Delegation under his leadership will attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference to be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from 20-26 August 2022. He added that 181 delegates from 54 countries including 27 delegates from legislative bodies in India will attend the Conference.

Shri Birla also said that the number of CPA Zones in India have been increased from three to nine in order to ensure active participation, and extensive discussions of State Legislatures within the framework of the CPA.

The Presiding Officers also discussed about the implementation of the resolutions adopted in POs Conference at Shimla and Guwahati.