15 RS members had expressed concern in a letter.
New Delhi: Allegations by 15 MPs that voice of the Opposition was being “smothered” in the House were rebutted by the Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Monday who also said that empirical evidence goes to prove that the complaint does not stand scrutiny.
The vice-president said that 15 members have quoted some statistics about the number of Bills referred and not referred to scrutiny by parliamentary committees during the 14, 15, 16 and the present Lok Sabha.
During the Zero Hour, Mr Naidu said 15 members of Rajya Sabha belonging to 14 parties addressed him a letter dated July 25, 2019 conveying what they called their anguish and concern over passing of Bills without scrutiny by either Parliamentary Standing or Select Committees.
“This has cast a cloud over the functioning of our apex legislature which is not good for our parliamentary democracy,” he said.
“If their complaint is that Bills first introduced in these Lok Sabha sessions were not referred to parliamentary committees for scrutiny, that is not certainly in my domain as the Chairman of Rajya Sabha. So, I am not in a position to respond to this complaint and I feel that this complaint, if any, has been addressed to the wrong person,” Mr Naidu said.
The vice-president further said “since a broad message” has gone about hurried legislation by Parliament, of which Rajya Sabha is a constituent, as its Chairman, I would like to clarify the factual position regarding scrutiny of Bills introduced in the Upper House.
During the last five sessions that I have presided (244th to 248th sessions), Mr Naidu said, 10 Bills have been first introduced by the Government in Rajya Sabha.
“I am happy to inform you that as Chairman of this August House, I have referred 8 of those 10 Bills to respective department related standing committees, though it is not mandatory to do so,” he said.