Though yet to make a noteworthy intervention in the Rajya Sabha to which he was elected earlier this year, Sanjay Singh has lived up to the curious credentials of his Aam Aadmi Party. Not only has the Delhi High Court rejected his petition seeking instructions to the Prime Minister to attend the House with greater frequency, it has called his approaching the court politically motivated and an abuse of the process of law. The party’s penchant for inexpensive sensationalism ~ as presently being witnessed courtesy the “sit-in” at Raj Niwas by Arvind Kejriwal and a couple of his fellow travellers ~ has found fresh expression in the courts.
True that Mr Narendra Modi seldom attends the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha unless expressly required to do so, but is a “fresher” with precious little legislature experience entitled to make such a demand, that too in the High Court rather than in the crimson-carpeted chamber in which he has a rightful place? This cockiness of the AAP ~ to call it arrogance would be to accord it a little authenticity ~ is one explanation why few other Opposition parties attach much relevance to it. The AAP may feel it has made a dramatic entry into the House of Elders, others would dub its debut as farcical.
Clearly, the Delhi High Court’s vacation bench of Sangita Dhingra Sehgal and C Hari Shankar was least impressed and cautioned against such “adventurism”, though the move merited the imposition of “heavy costs” it was not doing so but cautioned against expecting any further “lenient responses”. The court ruled that “needless to say the present writ petition cannot be a platform for initiating a roving and fishing inquiry into the settings of legislators in Parliament.
Neither do we find any merit in the writ petition calling for the issuance of any such direction to the Speaker”. It held that the petition was “nothing but an abuse of the process of law and is ex facie politically motivated”. That was not all the court had to say, “it has consumed valuable judicial time and effort, which could have been expended in adjudicating disputes which genuinely deserve a quietus. Such abuse of the judicial process deserves to be deprecated, and we do so.”
It is a moot point if Sanjay Singh would have been permitted to raise the matter in the House, and he would probably have been shouted down if he tried to do so. A larger issue is whether MPs should take recourse to the courts to settle internal matters of the legislature. What happened was more than a “waste of valuable judicial time” but a denigration of Parliament too. The Chairman is making consistent efforts to restore sanctity to the House, non-serious members must be made to toe the line ~ AAP’s brand of publicity-seeking politics should find no place in the Elders.