Friday, October 8, 2010

Petition opposes Presidential order on TN Legislative Council

Petition opposes Presidential order on Legislative Council

Special Correspondent

Wants it declared null and void as it does not have approval of Parliament


Petition says State seems to proceed hastily

Seeks a direction to Union government


CHENNAI: A writ petition has been moved in the Madras High Court seeking to declare an order of the President of September 30 determining the constituencies for the proposed Tamil Nadu Legislative Council as null and void and ineffective as it is without prior approval of Parliament.

The petition also sought a direction to the Union government to act in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Representation of the People Act.

In his petition, M.Bharathiar of The Nilgiris said the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Bill 2010 was approved by the Union government on May 4 and was passed by both the Houses of Parliament. Later, it was placed for Presidential assent and was approved and published in the Union Government gazette on May 18, and the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act came into force.

As per the legislation, the council should have a maximum of 78 seats. The determination of the constituencies should be in accordance with the Tamil Nadu Legislative Council Act and the Representation of the People Act (RPA). The State government without even awaiting any orders from the President appeared to hastily proceed by issuing a notification on September 29 prescribing the qualification for graduate and teachers constituencies.

When the constituencies had not been fixed or identified by the President of India in a manner prescribed under Section 12 and 13 of the RPA, it was unfortunate that the State government should ignore the rule of law.

Only after the delimitation process was complete and after securing Parliament's approval was it possible to engage in the process of preparation of electoral roll. It was inconceivable that the qualification could be prescribed even prior to fixing the constituencies.

No Presidential order could be effective without Parliament approval. The Presidential notification as required under Section 13 of the Act was yet to be finalised. Parliament had not been taken into confidence, a pre-condition for proceeding further with the delimitation process. It was only up to Parliament to deal with the subject as soon as it was laid before it. Law obligated the President to place the September 30 order before Parliament for its approval.

The matter came up before Justice K.Suguna on Thursday. Later, it was adjourned to October 20.

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