Updated: September 2, 2021 3:58:12 am
THE DELHI High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to respond to a petition which stated that the position of Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha has been vacant for more than two years.
“We are not issuing notice. Take instructions. We are keeping this matter after 2-3 weeks,” a division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh told Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, while adjourning the matter to September 30.
The petitioner, Pawan Reley, has sought a direction for holding the election for the post within one month, and a direction to the Speaker to specify a date. “This petition involves the questions of highest constitutional importance in relation to the inaction of the Constitutional functionaries and in evading their Constitutional duties in not holding the election of the Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha.”
Reley told the court that it was the first time in the history of the Indian republic that the office of Deputy Speaker had remained vacant for 830 days and contended that it was a mandatory Constitutional obligation to fill the position. “No discretion has been conferred on anybody not to elect the Deputy Speaker. It is submitted that Deputy Speaker is not subordinate to the Speaker but holds an independent position and is answerable to the House alone,” the petition argued.
Rule 8 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha casts primary duty on the Speaker to fix the date for the election, said Reley. “The entire democratic structure in the House of the People rests on the shoulders of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker in absence of the Speaker, and members of the House of the People. There is a close nexus between the democratic structure and fundamental rights of the people. Once this nexus is broken, it violates the fundamental rights of the people,” argued the petition.