Voice vote as constitutional subterfuge (GS-2 The hindu editorial)

Voice vote as constitutional subterfuge (GS-2 The hindu editorial)

Parliament is under article 79, Rajya Sabha under 80 and Lok Sabha under 81.

Issue:- By passing Rajya Sabha or upper house in state and subterfuge the constitutional mechanism. 

    • Though Opposition parties hold the strong in the upper house of Karnataka assembly still Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill was passed.
  • Why such things are happening
      • The Upper House has limited say/can’t stop the bill as It is a Money Bill.
  • The Rajya Sabha’s role
  • Maybe the bills are the demand of the time but dubious mechanisms followed for their enactment can’t be justifiable.
  • The Rajya Sabha has historically stopped the ruling party
  • 42nd Constitutional Amendment could not be repealed by the Janata regime because the Congress holded strong presence in the Rajya Sabha. 
  • Rajya Sabha is undoubtedly imperfect, why?
  • partly because of constitutional design
  • partly because obviously undesirable practices
  • E.g members representing States they have no affiliation to, have been allowed to flourish.

The value of bicameralism

  • According to Jeremy Waldron 
    • The virtues of bicameralism are much more important when the two Houses are chosen by different processes of representation and elected on a different schedule.
    •  the monopoly of the Lower House to represent the ‘people’ makes bicameralism desirable
    • Judicial review is hardly practiced in India nowadays so importance of second chamber’s performance.
    •  In India a Westminster system where the Lower House is dominated by the executive. The Rajya Sabha can make a robust separation of powers possible.

Taking legislature seriously

  •  In British parliament->
    •  Prime Minister was being taken to task on ‘Prime Minister’s Questions’ every Wednesday even during the pandemic
    • Parliament in India was not even convened 

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