Pranab cautions govt against ordinance raj

Pranab cautions govt against ordinance raj

President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday reminded the government that it has limited powers to issue ordinances or emergency executive orders and also rapped the Opposition for not allowing Parliament to function.
Mukherjee’s observation came in response to a question on the government pushing key reforms using the ordinance route during an interaction with students of Central Universities, IITs, NITs and other institutions through video conference. The government promulgated 10 ordinances to push key policy changes due to lack of majority in the Rajya Sabha, where the Opposition held up proceedings on a number of issues and did not allow bills to be passed.

The President said: “To meet certain exigencies and under compelling circumstances, the framers of the Constitution deemed it necessary to confer limited legislative power upon the executive by way of promulgation of ordinances when the legislature is not in session and circumstances that justified immediate legislation.”

The framers, Mukherjee said, also deemed it necessary to impose certain restrictions on this extraordinary legislative power by constitutionally mandating replacement of such ordinances within a time frame by the legislators.

Mukherjee said Article 123 (2) provides that an ordinance must be replaced by a law not later than six weeks from the re-assembly of the two Houses. 

“Article 85 further provides that six months shall not intervene between the last sitting of one session and the first sitting of the next session,” he added.
Earlier, the President had asked three Union ministers to explain the urgency for issuing the land acquisition ordinance, which seeks to ease rules and kick-start stalled projects.

Mukherjee also rapped the Opposition for not allowing Parliament to function. The President said there is a growing tendency to resort to disruption as a means of Parliamentary intervention. 

The President said: “Dissent is a recognised democratic expression, but disruption leads to loss of time and resources, and paralyses policy formulation. The cardinal principle of parliamentary democracy is that the majority has the mandate to rule, while the Opposition has the right to oppose, expose, and if the numbers permit, to depose. But, under no circumstances should there be disruption of the proceedings. A noisy minority cannot be allowed to gag a patient majority.”

The President cautioned Parliament to not yield its space for legislating and policy making to mass mobilisation and street protests, for that may not always provide solutions to our problems.

After three decades, Mukherjee said, the electorate decided to give a single party the majority to form a stable government.

DH News Service