Chief Justice of India N V Ramana has expressed his concern over the lack of debate in Parliament and state legislatures, and said it is a “sorry state of affairs” as the absence of quality debate leaves many aspects of laws unclear and increases the burden on courts.
He said that an elaborate discussion during the law-making process reduces litigation as when courts interpret legislations, “we all know the intent of the legislature”.
Speaking at the 75th Independence Day function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association in the lawns of the top court, the Chief Justice exhorted the members of the legal fraternity to participate in public life and share their experience about laws.
He said the country’s long freedom struggle was led by lawyers. “Whether it is Mahatma Gandhi or Babu Rajendra Prasad, they were legal luminaries, who sacrificed their property, family and life and led the movement.”
“Most of the members of first Lok sabha and Rajya Sabha were all lawyers and members from the legal fraternity. Unfortunately, we know what is happening now in the Parliament with respect to debates on laws,” CJI Ramana said in his address to the bar members.
He said there used to be debates in Parliament on various constitutional amendments and how they will affect the people.
Long ago, I have seen a debate during the introduction of the Industrial Disputes Act and a member from Tamil Nadu used to discuss the law so elaborately as to how the law will affect the working class. It used to reduce the burden on the courts, as when the courts interpreted the law, we all knew the intent of the legislature,” the Chief Justice said.
“Now, it is a sorry state of affairs. There are a lot of gaps and a lot of ambiguity in the law-making process due to lack of debates. We don’t know what the intent of the legislature is. We don’t know for what purpose the laws are made. This causes great inconvenience to the people. This happens when members of the legal fraternity are not in the Parliament and state legislature, “he added.