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Courts have no role: Speaker

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has been flooded by letters and email supporting the decision to expel the 11 MPs caught in the cash-for-questions scandal. That is perhaps one reason why he is willing stand by the decision, come what may. He told PTI on Sunday, "According to me, the courts have no jurisdiction at all in the matter. Any order is not binding. I am not surrendering or submitting to the jurisdiction of the courts on this issue at all."

india Updated: Jan 09, 2006 01:13 IST

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has been flooded by letters and email supporting the decision to expel the 11 MPs caught in the cash-for-questions scandal. That is perhaps one reason why he is willing stand by the decision, come what may.
He told PTI on Sunday, "According to me, the courts have no jurisdiction at all in the matter. Any order is not binding. I am not surrendering or submitting to the jurisdiction of the courts on this issue at all."

Some of the tainted MPs have approached courts challenging their expulsion. The matter is listed for Monday in the Delhi High Court.

``In this matter," Chatterjee said, "under the Constitution, Parliament is the supreme authority," Chatterjee said.

And with support pouring in from all over the country, the speaker can take a bolder position on the matter, if he wants.

``Just expelling them is not enough,'' wrote Brigadier S N Iyer, describing himself as a ``saddened citizen of a corrupt country.'' S S Khushwaha, a senior citizen from Allahabad, said the 11 MPs must be banned from seeking election in future.
There were suggestions that the benefits enjoyed by the tainted lot be withdrawn. Yet another email wanted more sting operations against the corrupt.

"Our society is totally entrenched in corruption and the vast majority of honest and law abiding persons are watching the whole situation silently and with deep pang (sic)…This action of yours shall send a message to people who join politics for making money and looting people,'' wrote P N Razdan.

Mathews Varghese from USA and Nirmalya Ray in India hailed the cleansing act which has protected the dignity of Parliament, restored the public's faith in parliamentarians and kept the honour of Indian democracy high internationally.
To carry forward the cleansing process, the Forum of non-governmental organisations from Ahmednagar, which carried over 30 signatures, demanded registration of criminal offences against the tainted members of Parliament, recovery of all payments and benefits from them since the start of the 14th Lok Sabha and a public disclosure of the assets not just of the tainted members but of all MPs.

And in consonance with the Speaker's own views on the subject, Biswanath Patnaik, a freedom fighter from Orissa, sought the abolition of the MPLADs scheme and favoured the electorate's right to recall its representatives if they failed to deliver. “Public trust is central for survival of democratic institutions,'' wrote Col. S S Bhasin from Mumbai.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 01:13 IST