HYDERABAD: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday opined that election petitions and criminal cases against political leaders must be decided by special benches of higher courts in a time-bound manner.
He also said presiding officers of legislative bodies must decide anti-defection cases within three months.
Addressing the Hyderabad Management Associations’ 46th annual award function, the vice president observed that dysfunctional legislatures would strengthen the demand for a ‘recall of legislators’. “I am afraid that we are moving towards that stage,” he warned.
Naidu also expressed his concern over political discourse reaching a new low in recent years and called for reversing this trend at the earliest.
He further showed his distress over frequent disruptions of parliament and State legislatures.
“As chairman of the Rajya Sabha, I have tried to be objective and judicious in my response to cases of violation of anti-defection laws. These cases, in my view, require to be dealt with speed and alacrity to uphold the best democratic traditions. Election petitions and criminal cases against political leaders must be decided quickly by special benches of higher courts in a time-bound manner. If need be, separate benches may be set up to expedite such cases within six months or one year. Similarly, the presiding officers of legislative bodies need to decide anti-defection cases within three months,” the vice president said.
Speaking about the frequent disruption of Parliament and State legislatures, the vice president opined that reducing pious, legitimate forums to “disruptive platforms” was a clear negation of the vision of the makers of the Constitution.
He suggested that people in public life understand that they were only rivals and not enemies. Quoting the former president Pranab Mukherjee’s advice, he said, ‘Discuss, debate and decide; but not disturb’ should be the way forward for the effective functioning of institutions.
He added that the functioning of parliament and State legislatures had become worrisome, with more disruptive and dysfunctional tendencies. “People need to monitor the functioning of the legislatures and also the conduct of various parties and the elected representatives,” he said.
Naidu also felt that with a stable government at the Centre, there was a need to enhance the momentum of the country’s growth. “Backed by this buoyant growth, we must step up our relentless crusade against hunger, poverty, illiteracy and disease. We cannot allow scams” he added.