With the beginning of the Monsoon Session of Parliament earlier today, the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy is pleased to release its Report on Disruptions in the Indian Parliament.
In recent years, the proceedings in the Indian Parliament have come to be largely characterised as unproductive, in view of ceaseless disruptions by various members of Parliament. While the expression of dissent within the confines of parliamentary etiquette is a legitimate form of protest, the manner in which it currently manifests itself in Parliament, is far from acceptable. The natural consequence of such behaviour is twofold - first, taxpayers’ money gets wasted over a non-functioning Parliament; second, the legislative paralysis stultifies the overall governance in the country.
This Report hopes to make two key contributions— first, to identify the causes for disruptions by closely analysing the proceedings in both Houses of Parliament for two distinct Sessions, namely the Winter Session of 2013-2014 and the Monsoon Session of 2015; second, to make the argument that the nature of Parliament has changed from being the apex legislative body in India to a forum for grandstanding on matters of public importance. By grounding its conclusions on empirical research and comparative experiences, this Report is an effort to invite wider public engagement on the conceptualising of legitimate dissent in a parliamentary democracy.
The Report is divided into two parts. The first part comprises the observations and analysis of two Sessions of Parliament, and can be accessed here. The second part, which is in the form of an annexure to the Report, summarises the day to day proceedings of the two Sessions of Parliament that have been analysed in the first part, and can be accessed here.