The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Assembly Secretary, Leader of the House and the Chief Secretary on a plea by DMK leader MK Stalin seeking a direction to the government to set up 12 committees to the Assembly on various issue. The 12 panels sought to be constituted are: Committees on Estimates, Public Accounts, Public Undertakings, Privileges, Business Advisory, Delegated Legislation, Government Assurances, House, Rules, Petitions, Library and Committee on Papers laid on the Table.
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According to senior advocate P Wilson, counsel for DMK acting president and Leader of Opposition in Tamil Nadu Assembly, the committees act as a watchdog of the ruling party inside the Legislature and the functioning of the Executive to ensure that their acts are in accordance with the Constitution and the Laws. The committees should have been constituted immediately after the 15th Assembly was formed and the members took oath.
“A grace period of 15 days is given. However, even after lapse of seven months, these panels have not been formed by the Assembly Speaker. “DMK, being the largest opposition party with a strength of 89 members, has to be necessarily and adequately represented in each of the committees,” he said.
When the matter was raised by Stalin in the Assembly on September 1 last, the Speaker had assured that the panels would be formed at the earliest, he submitted. “But nothing has been done till today. The indefinite, unlawful and arbitrary postponement of formation of the panels is an assault on the democracy and is a fraud on the Constitution and on the people,” Wilson contended.
Justice B Rajendran then ordered issue of notices.