Source: The post is based on the article “Vice-President says court can’t dilute Parliament’s sovereignty” published in The Hindu on 11th January 2023
What is the News?
The Vice President of India has addressed the 83rd All-India Presiding Officer’s conference.
What are the key highlights from his address?
On Basic Structure: He cited the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 judgment in the Kesavananda Bharati case in which it ruled that Parliament had the authority to amend the Constitution but not its basic structure
He said that he cannot subscribe to the idea of a basic structure as laid down by the Supreme Court, where Parliament can amend the Constitution but not its basic structure.
He asked should the power of the Parliament to amend the constitution be dependent on any other institution.
Quoting Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, he said it must be remembered that the Constitution never envisaged a Third and Superior Chamber for Parliament to grant approval to the legislation passed by the two Houses.
On National Judicial Appointments Commission Bill: Vice President said there was complete unanimity in the Lok Sabha while passing the Constitutional Amendment Bill. In Rajya Sabha, there was unanimity but there was one abstention.
But in 2015, the Supreme Court held both the 99th Constitution Amendment Act, 2014 and the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, 2014 unconstitutional on the premise of being in violation of the basic structure.
He called the striking down of the NJAC Act a “severe compromise” of parliamentary sovereignty and disregard of the “mandate of the people”.