Thursday, February 29, 2024

Delhi HC rejects plea on Lokpal Bill

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by a lawyer seeking to declare the Centre’s act of introducing multiple drafts of the Lokpal Bill as unconstitutional as the laid down procedures were not followed while introducing the bills in Parliament.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, after hearing the arguments from both the sides on the maintainability of the petition, dismissed it saying it has no substance.

The court declined to entertain the PIL saying, “The writ petition has been preferred without any legal foundation and hence it cannot be made a subject matter of Article 226 (if any fundamental right is evoked) and cannot be entertained.”

The bench also remarked, “Since anyone’s fundamental rights are not being affected the petition is not maintainable.”

The court was hearing the petition filed by lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma, who said the court should declare Gandhian Anna Hazare and the government’s Lokpal bills, laid before Parliament, as unconstitutional as it did not follow the constitutional and Parliamentary procedures decided for introduction of bills.

The petitioner urged that the Centre’s action of introducing four drafts of the Lokpal bills is unconstitutional as all the four came under the clause of Money Bill. These bills should be accompanied by a financial memorandum and recommended by the President.

Citing various other procedures which were violated in drafting the Lokpal Bill, the petitioner prayed that the court declare the Lokpal Bill as unconstitutional.

Refuting Mr Sharma’s contention that the Lokpal Bill is a money bill and its expenses would be charged to the government exchequer,Addl Solicitor General A S Chandhiok, appearing on behalf of the Centre, said under Article 110 only the Speaker of the House is empowered to decide as to which bill is a money bill and whether it is constitutional. (UNI)

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