People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 09

March 03, 2013





CPI(M) Walks Out on Kurien Issue


CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and leader of Party in Rajya Sabha, Sitaram Yechury has charged the government of undermining the centrality of the Indian Constitution by its defence of the deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha P J Kurien in the Suryanelli rape case.


Raising this issue during question hour in Rajya Sabha on February 26, Yechury pointed out that the deputy chairman of the House is elected by members and he is the property of the legislature. The centrality of the Indian Constitution is that the supreme sovereignty lies with the people, which is exercised by the elected representatives to whom the executive is accountable. He felt that the government is now actually violating that centrality of the Indian Constitution by its defence of deputy chairman.  “If the deputy chairman has something to say about the allegations against him, he is most welcome to make those things in the House. Let the House exercise its collective wisdom. But how can the executive defend the officer of the legislature, when the executive is accountable to the legislature, which is accountable to the people” he questioned.


He expressed concern at this blurring of the separation of powers between the executive and the legislature. “The moment the executive defends the legislature, the legislature becomes compromised to the executive. How can we make them accountable?


The chairman of the House, Hamid Ansari said that since the point raised by Yechury is a Constitutional point, it would be examined. However, he ruled that the minister can make a statement in the House on this issue. Yechury led a walk out of CPI(M) members objectiing to this and stating that CPI(M) cannot be a party to this violation of the basic structure of the Constitution.