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Monday, June 13, 2011

Do not disrespect Parliamentary system for political gimmick: Hasim Abdul Halim

Hasim Abdul Halim, former Speaker of West Bengal Assembly, has advised Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee not to disrespect  Parliamentary system and norms while taking steps simply for political gimmick.
Expressing concern at certain steps being taken by the newly formed Trinamool-Congress government headed by Mamata Banerjee, Halim, who was a Speaker of West Bengal Assembly for more than 28 years, said Assembly was the sacred place to protect the country’s democratic set-up. The government at no cost undermine its right and supremacy.
The Speaker used to conduct the Assembly being neutral and impartial ignoring the pressure of the party to which he belongs. But the way the recently formed government, Halim said, was trying to promulgate an Ordinance and introduce a Bill by convening the Assembly session before scheduled date was nothing but gross violation Parliamentary system.
In Article 213 it has been clearly stated that the Governor of a State at the advise of the party in power can promulgate an Ordinance when the Assembly has not been in session. But the West Bengal Assembly was convened on May 30 and since then it is in session. It has been adjourned till June 24 when the Assembly will meet again on the day in the afternoon. The Governor M.K.Narayanan will address the House at 2-30 p.m. on the day.
The West Bengal Assembly has not been prorogued, but adjourned. In such a situation the Trinamool-Congress government managed to get signed an ordinance by the Governor and publicly announced the content of the ordinance. This is nothing but unconstitutional. Since the Governor has put his signature to an ordinance not constitutionally adopted he  becomes party to the step considered to be constitutionally  “illegal.”
According to Constitution, before adoption of any Ordinance it should have been approved by the Cabinet. After that it is sent to the Governor through the Chief Secretary. But it is not known whether the formalities in this regard have been followed or not.
 Again, according to earlier announcement the Assembly is supposed to meet on June 24. Now the date has been rescheduled and the Assembly is going to meet on June 13. The Speaker has the constitutional right to change the date and hold an early session of the House. But it is done in extremely emergency situation in case of war and at the time of natural calamity. The Speaker before changing the date is supposed to explain the reason for it.
But in this case not the Speaker but the Chief Minister has announced the early session of the Assembly. Instead of the Speaker the Chief Minister in violation of Parliamentary norms  announced when and what are the Bills to be placed and adopted in the House.
The Speaker in the House remains unattached to any party. To maintain neutrality he does not draw his salary from the government but from a consolidated fund. If the Speaker is made puppet of any ruling party the Parliamentary  system is sure to collapse.

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