Voicing concern over the conduct of legislators in Assemblies and Parliament,Vice-President Hamid Ansari today said rules of etiquette and norms of civility need to be made stricter and enforced more stringently in the Houses.
“In recent times,the idealised view of legislatures as deliberative bodies is contradicted by the induction of unparliamentary practices whereby they tend to become sites for adversarial combat,” he said,addressing a special sitting
of the Kerala Legislative Assembly as part of the 125th anniversary of legislative bodies of the state.
The hallmark of an effective legislator is now seen to be an ability to shout and disrupt proceedings,preferably from the well of the House,” he said.
Ansari said an effort should be made to appreciate that excitability,decibel intensity and verbosity did not add to the strength of the argument or the dignity of Legislature.
The annual average of sittings of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had declined over the decades. While the average of sittings of the Lok Sabha was 124.2 and Rajya Sabha 90.5 during 1952-61,it steadily declined to 70.3 and 69.6 in 2002-11,he said.
Record of many decades also showed that the notional time allocation was different from the time actually utilised for conduct of business.
“The reason for this is that uniquely Indian contribution to parliamentary practice is known as disruption. It has been a source of concern for many years now and is inviting public ire,” he said.
Ansari said the disruptions were taking place with the knowledge and at the instance of political parties and their leadership to attract public attention,force the executive to undertake the course of action proposed by them and to demonstrate their ability to logjam the functioning of the Legislature.
“The unfortunate reality today is that the rules of procedure are being violated brazenly and with impunity. Forgotten is the simple truth that rules are to be observed,not discarded or subverted,” the Vice-President said.