New Delhi, January 2
A PIL seeking a direction to the Centre and states to publish draft legislations prominently on government websites and in the public domain at least 60 days before they are introduced in Parliament and state assemblies has been filed in the Supreme Court.
The plea filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure that all the draft and final legislation are put in the public domain in all regional languages.
“In today’s democratic process, with the advent of advanced media and technology, it is no longer appropriate for Governments, both Central and State, to suddenly pass laws overnight with scarcely any legislative debate and no wider consultation at all, the plea, filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey, said.
Protests against the farm reforms show how the message of a law is lost in the legal jargon and the consequences of lack of such a discussion prior to the bills being tabled in the legislature, it said.
The petition said any draft legislation, except those related to national security, must be published on government websites at least 60 days before they are introduced in Parliament or state legislature.
As far as central laws are concerned, it said, the proposed legislations should be translated into regional languages and published online at least 60 days prior to their introduction in Parliament so that citizens have a complete understanding of them.
Referring to the protests against the new farm laws, the PIL stated that farmers have been misguided by politicians as the draft laws were not published for wide consultation and feedback before being introduced in Parliament.
This has led to a lot of misinformation and protest among the farmers and people with vested interests are using this chaos to advance their cause, using the farmers as a front, it said.
“The injury caused to the public is large because the existing law-making process is not only undemocratic but also unconstitutional. Secretaries of the respective departments draft the bill and cabinet approves it without wider public discussion and feedback. It is only after the Parliament/Assembly debate that the public is made aware of it.
“Moreover, many times, the government makes new laws even when amending the existing law would suffice. It not only exhausts the public resources but also is a complete waste of legislature’s time,” it said. PTI PKS SJK