Rajya Sabha
Rajya Sabha

New Delhi:  AIADMK today forced adjournment of the Rajya Sabha twice during Question Hour over former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju’s reported allegation that political pressure during the previous UPA regime had led to elevation of a judge despite charges of corruption against him.

Ruckus created by AIADMK members seeking suspension of Question Hour to discuss the issue of “political interference in judicial appointments” led to the House first being adjourned for 10 minutes and then till 1200 hours.

No sooner had Ronald Sapa Tlau, the newly-elected member from Mizoram, taken oath, AIADMK members were up on their feet displaying copies of a newspaper that carried an article by Press Council of India Chairman Katju on the appointment.

“You will not show newspaper here, Dr Maitreyan,” Chairman Hamid Ansari said referring to AIADMK leader who wanted the Question Hour to be suspended to discuss the issue.

V Maitreyan said this was an important issue.

“You can’t do this… nobody is listening to you,” Ansari said as AIADMK members moved into aisle raising solgans.

He then adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

When the House reassembled, similar scenes were witnessed with AIADMK members insisting on suspension of Question Hour.

“If you have an issue to raise, raise it through appropriate procedure. This is not the way. You are disrupting listed business,” Ansari said warning members that he would name them if they continued to display newspaper.

“I will have to name you for display of newspaper,” he said as unheeding AIADMK members continued to shout slogans.

Maitreyan wanted to know if former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was seated in the House, was aware of the allegation against the judge and if his ally DMK had put pressure on his government to elevate him.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Prakash Javadekar said the Chair could give one minute to the agitating members to make their point and then Question Hour can be taken up.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said the Question Hour should be allowed to proceed and the issue can be raised after that if the Chair permits.

“I am not going into the merits of the case,” he said.

Ansari said there was an establised procedure for taking
up issues. “Why is it being ignored?”

“The House is adjourned till 1200 hours because of disruption caused by some members in violation of the rules,” he said.

Katju has alleged that a District Judge in Tamil Nadu was elevated to an Additional Judge of the Madras High Court despite charges of corruption against him.

In Lok Sabha, AIADMK leader M Thambidurai raised the issue saying the House should know who was the judge and why pressure was put on the previous government by a political party.

“We want to know how can a minister from DMK put pressure on government. I want a statement from the government,” he said.

However, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan did not allow the AIADMK leader to discuss the matter saying she cannot suspend the Question Hour.

“I am going to allow you, but not now,” she said.

Shiromani Akali Dal member Prem Singh Chandumajra wanted to raise the issue of Haryana government’s move to create a separate Gurdwara Prabandhak Commitee for Haryana terming it as “unconstitutional”.

The Speaker did not allow Chandumajra to raise the issue despite the member giving a suspension notice.

Mahajan said she would allow him to raise the issue at the next available opportunity.

Free Press Journal