NEED TO FOLLOW MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
What’s in news?
Vice President has urged all political parties to include code of conduct for MPs and MLAs in their election manifestoes
- In the past lawmakers have taken the route of organized disruption of legislative business.
- It has become common among the political parties and legislators to demonstratively advertise their points of view without recourse to debate.
- A number of crucial bills have taken an inordinate time to be enacted due to disruption, while others were not enacted despite a broad consensus — such as the Women’s Reservation Bill — due to the behavior of a few naysayers.
- Many sessions of Parliament in the recent past saw little business being done due to repeated disruption.
- The Vice President of India Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon all political parties to incorporate a code of conduct for people’s representatives, including MPs and MLAs, in their election manifestos to upheld the faith of the voters held upon MPs and MLAs.
- The code of conduct should include stipulations that the members would not enter the well of the house, nor resort to sloganeering and disruptions or any other unruly behavior such as tearing papers and throwing them in the House.
- As of him, deliberation is an important component of parliamentary democracy apart from legislation and accountability of lawmakers.
- If indeed parties adopt a code, it will go a long way in making parliamentary work meaningful.
- Otherwise, the general public will lose interest in the procedural aspects of parliamentary democracyand limit their participation to just voting in the elections.
Need for Model Code of Conduct:
- The current Budget session sailed through with minimal disruption.
- Yet the high productivity during the session came without sufficient deliberation over crucial bills, several of which were rushed through without vetting by parliamentary standing and select committees.
- These committees have in the past been useful in expanding discussion over laws with civil society and experts from various streams of the larger society.
- They have also facilitated an enhanced cross-party coordination over issues.
- By not sending a single Bill among the 28 that were introduced and passed to a standing or select committee for scrutiny, the current session accentuated the trend that has minimised the importance of such committees over the last few years.
- Unlike the 15th Lok Sabha (2009-2014), when 71% of the bills were referred to such committees, in the 16th Lok Sabha, they constituted only a fourth of the overall number of bills.
- Time spent on debates in the current session in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha was barely a third of the overall business. This does not augur well for lawmaking.
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