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Speaker rejects motions for N-deal talks

Somnath Chatterjee rejects motions for discussion on Indo-US nuclear deal under Rule 184 which entails voting.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2007 13:09 IST

Opposition demand for re-negotiation of Indo-US nuclear deal and debate on it under a rule which entails voting was rejected in Lok Sabha by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee who made it clear that Parliament has "no competence" to decide on operationalisation of an agreement signed with a foreign country.

The Speaker said the government had the "sovereign" power and "unrestricted" right to enter into any treaty or agreement like the civil nuclear deal with foreign countries and it is well-established that "there is no requirement to obtain ratification from Parliament".

"There has been no occasion where any treaty or agreement was ever discussed under Rule 184," he said while rejecting the notices of motion which seek the government "re-negotiate the 123 nuclear agreement"

The identical notices were moved by Leader of Opposition LK Advani, BJP member Santosh Gangwar and Samajwadi Party member Ram Gopal Yadav. By asking the government to re-negotiate the pact, the motion "in effect seeks to disapprove the agreement entered into and to require the government not to give effect to the agreement in its present form and contents, which the House has no competence to do," the Speaker said.

He said "it will clearly amount to the House rejecting the agreement in its present form."

According to the Constitution, in the absence of appropriate laws made by Parliament, "the right of the central government to enter into treaties and agreements with foreign countries in its sovereign power, is unrestricted and any such treaty or agreement becomes effective without any intervention by Parliament," Chatterjee said.