Saturday, February 24, 2024

Modi government undermined parliamentary democracy, alleges ‘chargesheet’ by rights groups

At least 22 rights organisations and 20 activists, in a list described as a “chargesheet”, on Friday accused the Union government of undermining India’s parliamentary democracy.

The chargesheet alleged that the Narendra Modi government had deliberately subverted processes and laws.

“The institution of Parliament, a crucial pillar of democracy of representative accountability, has been fundamentally decimated in the last ten years by the government,” the group said in their statement.

The Union government had “deliberately violated” procedures and constitutional provisions to turn Parliament into “an instrument for majoritarian and undemocratic law-making”, the statement added.

According to the statement, the last two Lok Sabha terms had the lowest number of sittings ever.

The Union government was controlling Parliament as per its whims and reducing opportunities for holding the government accountable, the chargesheet alleged.

The chargesheet also accused the government of increasingly resorting to ordinances, repromulgating ordinances, bypassing parliamentary scrutiny, committing a fraud on the Constitution, introducing legislations without following democratic processes and “passing bills without discussion, in the absence of Opposition MPs, in an undemocratic manner.”

The statement further read: “Between 2016 and 2023, on average, 79% of the budget has been passed without discussion.” “As per the conventional process, Lok Sabha discusses budgets of some ministries in detail and votes on them separately… Lesser number of sittings, shorter budget sessions, poorly planned agenda of a government leads to less and less proportion of the Budget being discussed in detail and more and more of it being passed without discussion,” it said.

It said: “Other such unconstitutional and undemocratic acts of the government, which have completely undermined the process set in place to guarantee fairness, accountability, transparency and democratic decision making.”

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