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SC to hear on Oct 31 plea seeking direction to publish draft legislations on govt websites


The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on October 31 a plea seeking directions to the Centre and the states to publish draft legislations prominently on government websites and in the public domain at least 60 days before they are introduced in Parliament and state assemblies. According to the cause list of October 31 uploaded on the apex court website, the petition is slated to come up for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice U U Lalit and Justices S R Bhat and Bela M Trivedi.

The plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay has also sought a direction to the Centre to ensure that all the draft and final legislations are put in the public domain in all regional languages.

It said any draft legislation, except those related to national security, must be published on government websites at least 60 days before they are introduced in Parliament or state legislature.

“In today’s democratic process, with the advent of advanced media and technology, it is no longer appropriate for governments, both Central and State, to suddenly pass laws overnight with scarcely any legislative debate and no wider consultation at all,” said the plea, filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.

The plea said at least as far as central laws are concerned, the proposed legislations should be translated into regional languages and published on website at least 60 days prior to their introduction in Parliament so that citizens have a full understanding of them.

“The injury caused to the public is large because the existing law-making process is not only undemocratic but also unconstitutional. Secretaries of the respective departments draft the bill and cabinet approves it without wider public discussion and feedback. It is only after the Parliament/Assembly debate that the public is made aware of it,” it submitted.

The plea said many a times, the government makes new laws even when amending the existing law would suffice.

It not only “exhausts” the public resources but also is a “complete waste” of legislature’s time, the petition claimed, adding that the law-making process needs drastic reforms.

It said a rigorous public debate on a law for two months would force the Executive to analyse every aspect.



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