Saturday, May 14, 2011

Has Parliament Of India Become Redundant?

Indian constitution provides, to a great extent, separation of powers between executive, legislature and judiciary. However, of late this separation of power has ceased to exist in India. The balance has been disturbed as parliament of India is not performing the tasks assigned to it by Indian constitution.

India is perhaps the only country of the World whose Agencies and Instrumentalities are working without any law supporting their existence, informs Praveen Dalal, managing partner of new Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and leading techno legal expert of India. Whether it is the Aadhar Project/ UID Project, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies of India, etc none of them are “Practically Governed” by any Legal Framework and Parliamentary Scrutiny, informs Dalal.

Instead of increasing the transparency and parliamentary scrutiny, India is further making these agencies more unaccountable and lawless. The right to information act 2005 (RTI Act 2005) is the sole transparency law of India that needs further amendments and strengthening. However, the proposed right to information rules 2010 instead of strengthening the RTI Act, 2005 took steps that are retrograde in nature.

Whether it is Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Intelligence Agencies of India, none of them are presently Accountable to Parliament of India, informs Dalal. This casts a doubt about the Impartiality and Transparency of these Agencies, suggests Dalal.

The latest to add to this list of doubts is the proposal to exclude CBI, national investigation authority of India (NIA) and national intelligence grid (Natgrid) from the applicability of RTI Act, 2005. The constitutional validity of national investigation agency act, 2008 (NIA 2008) is still doubtful and CBI and Natgrid are not governed by any law at all. Even the proposed central monitoring system of India is without any parliamentary oversight.

In these circumstances it can be safely said that Indian Parliament is slightly better than a non operational one. It does not conduct any relevant business these days and even if it does not operate at all, not much difference would be there.

Are Indian Parliamentarians listening or has Indian Constitution been “Bypassed” for surrendering all its “Constitutional Powers” to its Executive Branch and Bureaucrats?, asks Dalal. Perhaps, the concept of “Separation of Power” no longer exists under Indian Constitution, says Dalal.