Plea in SC seeks direction to empower citizens to petition Parliament
The plea said that if citizens have the ability to engage with the Centre and Parliament at a deeper level, it may reduce the burden on the apex court and high courts.
Published: 28th January 2023 02:52 PM | Last Updated: 29th January 2023 07:52 AM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has agreed to consider a plea which seeks an appropriate system for citizens to petition Parliament and initiate deliberations on highlighted matters.A bench of Justices K M Joseph and B V Nagarathna on Saturday asked the counsel to serve a copy of the plea which also seeks reasonable rules and regulations with regards to the same.
The petition, filed by Karan Garg, argues that it is imperative for the Centre to take steps that empower citizens to get their voice heard in Parliament without any difficulty. “Ordinary citizens of the country, the petitioner felt, “disempowered” when it came to participation in the democratic process, and after people cast their votes and elect representatives, there is no scope for any further participation,” the plea stated.
Garg in his plea also contended that granting citizens the ability to engage with Parliament and Centre at a deeper level would reduce the burden on the Supreme Court and high courts as there would be an alternative remedy for espousing public interest causes.
“Citizens have a fundamental right to participate in democratic affairs and are constitutionally entitled to present workable and constructive suggestions to Parliament on matters of national importance so that public interest is appropriately safeguarded. The current system does not fully allow citizens to initiate discussions in Parliament by moving appropriate petitions,” it said.
A system by which the citizens can directly petition Parliament is already in place in the United Kingdom and it has been working well for several years, the plea pointed out.
The petitioner said that if citizens have the ability to engage with the Centre and Parliament at a deeper level, it may reduce the burden on the top court and state high courts “since there may exist an effective and alternative remedy for espousing and pursuing public interest causes”.
The petitioner said citizens have fundamental right to participate in democratic affairs and are constitutionally entitled to present constructive suggestions to Parliament on matters of national importance so that public interest is appropriately safeguarded.
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