Panaji, Oct 14 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Tuesday used the plight of Sahara group chief Subrata Roy to illustrate his reservation against codification of privileges of parliamentarians and legislators.
Parrikar, speaking at the concluding session of the 16th All India Whips Conference at a south Goa resort, said that he was “slightly disturbed” at the manner in which Roy was put behind bars by the apex court for a long duration for judicial contempt.
“While I support everything, I have my own reservations about your codification. Why… I will tell you. For how many months has the Supreme Court thrown Subroto Roy in jail? For a democrat like me, I am slightly disturbed. I do not understand the strong gravity of that,” Parrikar said.
“I have read Krishna Iyer’s (former SC judge V.R. Krishna Iyer) judgment… he says… that a person cannot be kept inside without proper process. The only process probably there (in Roy’s case) is Supreme Court’s contempt of court. Has parliament questioned that and summoned the person to answer. So how do you allow assembly or parliament’s privilege to be questioned (by) the judiciary,” Parrikar argued, while expressing his reservation for codification of process.
Roy has been incarcerated at Delhi’s Tihar Jail for nearly six months for contempt of court after he repeatedly failed to appear at apex court hearings in connection with a case involving security regulators vis-à-vis $4 billion convertible bond issue.
The Goa chief minister contended that if judicial contempt is beyond parliamentary control, its reverse should also be true.
Over 100 lawmakers attending the conference have recommended that codification of privileges should be considered by each legislative body in the state to remove uncertainty and with a view to address the anxieties of the people and the press.