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'We'll not respond to judicial notices'

Parliament is fully competent to take action against its members, the Lok Sabha Speaker feels.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 11:51 IST

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee is clear that the courts have no jurisdiction on expulsion of MPs from Parliament and will not respond to any judicial notices in the matter.

Talking tough that he would not allow any quarter to corruption, he is keen that Government come forward with a legislation to set up a high-level Commission to determine the salaries and allowances of MPs.

The 76-year-old eminent lawyer rejects all criticism that the punishment of expulsion given to MPs in the "cash for query" scam was hasty and that the issue should have been referred to the Privileges Committee or the Ethics Committee.

"I cannot stop anyone from going to court. But according to me, the courts have no jurisdiction at all in the matter. Any order isnot binding. I am not surrendering or submitting to the jurisdiction of the courts at this issue at all," he said during an interview with PTI.

Chatterjee has held consultations with eminent lawyers who are fully backed his stance that the Parliament was fully competent to take action against its members and that court had no jurisdiction over it.

Maintaining that he had the highest respect for the judiciary, he said it was a question of discipline and Parliament had the authority under the Constitution to decide how to discipline its errant MPs. "In this matter, under the Constitution, Parliament is the supreme authority."

Citing the recent remarks of Chief Justice of India that question of judges misconduct should be tackled within, the Speaker said, "in a sense, it amounts to saying it will be decided by their peers. Likewise, we (Parliament) should be allowed this right. There should be no question."

First Published: Jan 08, 2006 23:02 IST