Dhankhar raised the issue of repeal of NJAC Act in Rajya Sabha

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New Delhi| Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar raised the issue of the Supreme Court’s striking down of the NJAC Act in his maiden speech in the House on Wednesday.

A clear example of grave compromise of parliamentary sovereignty and disregard of people’s mandate, he said.

He said that the power of the House is supreme and using this constitutional power to amend, the Parliament effected the entire structural governance change to further strengthen democracy.

He said this has been done through the inclusion of Parts 9, 9(A) and 9(B) in the Constitution providing a comprehensive mechanism for Panchayati Raj, Municipalities and Cooperative Societies. Similarly, in a much-needed historic move, Parliament passed the 99th Constitutional Amendment Bill, paving the way for the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).

This historic parliamentary mandate was struck down by the Supreme Court on October 16, 2015, by a majority of 4:1, holding that it was not in consonance with the judicially evolved doctrine of the ‘Basic Structure’ of the Constitution.

There is no parallel in democratic history for such a development where a duly valid constitutional prescription has been judicially undone. A glaring example of grave compromise of parliamentary sovereignty and disregard of the mandate of the people, of which the House and the Lok Sabha are its guardians.

He said, at present, the Parliament authentically reflects the mandate and aspirations of the people.

He also emphasized that obstruction and disruption of proceedings as a parliamentary practice or alternative is contrary to democratic values. The contemporary scenario in this matter is a matter of concern and makes it imperative for us to adhere to the high standards set by the Constituent Assembly.