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Can't step into Parliament function, will cross 'lakshman rekha': Supreme Court

New Delhi: Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking guidelines to ensure uninterrupted functioning of Parliament, saying the judiciary cannot monitor the business of the legislature which lay in the hands of Speaker, and any
PTI September 24, 2015 16:46 IST
PTI

New Delhi: Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking guidelines to ensure uninterrupted functioning of Parliament, saying the judiciary cannot monitor the business of the legislature which lay in the hands of Speaker, and any attempt to do so would lead to crossing the 'lakshman rekha'.

Objecting to bringing up such a matter before it, the apex court asked the counsel arguing on the issue, "have you kept your house (courts) clean".

"You may not know. As Chief Justice of India, I know. How many houses (courts) you have kept clean," Chief Justice H L Dattu told the counsel, in an apparent reference to the recent incidents in Madras High Court where lawyers disrupted the court proceedings by raising slogans against the High Court Chief Justice.

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When the counsel tried to pacify the CJI by saying that "the highest court of the country is clean," the bench, also comprising Justice Amitava Roy, interrupted him and explained that any indulgence by the apex court in the matter of  Parliament proceedings would amount to "over-stepping."

"We cannot monitor Parliament. The Speaker of the House knows how to manage the function of the House. We should know our 'lakshman rekha'.
 
We should never cross the 'lakshman rekha'. We should not be over stepping our boundary to say Parliament be conducted in this manner and not in this manner. No, we cannot say," the bench said.

Further, it said "in democracy, the parliamentarians know how to function. We are not here to teach them. They know better," the bench said while rejecting the plea of the NGO, Foundation for Restoration of National Values.

"We cannot start advising Parliament and they know what they have to do. They are experienced people and people with wisdom. They know and understand their responsibility well," the bench said, while rejecting the PIL which alleged that "sustained disruptions, unruly protests" and abstentions by elected members has led to losses to the public exchequer.