March 24, 2017
Saugata Roy speaks on SC notice to Centre regarding allowances of MPs
Madam, I bring to your attention something which concerns the honour and prestige of the MPs of the Indian Parliament. The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Central Government and the Election Commission on a petition moved by an NGO, Lok Prahari, as to why the cost of MPs’ perks and pensions should be borne by the taxpayers.
As you know, Madam, the MPs’ allowances and pensions are covered by a 1954 Act which was amended in 2006. By issuing and accepting a notice on MPs’ perks and pensions, the Supreme Court is actually transgressing into the area of parliamentary privileges and the MPs’ rights. We are not asking why the Supreme Court judges are being paid pensions. Why should the Supreme Court ask that why MPs are being paid pensions? They are asking why ex-MPs are being paid pensions, when that is guaranteed by law.
This is not the first example, though, of the Supreme Court interfering in the affairs of Parliament. You are the custodian of our rights in Parliament. I bring to your notice and, through you, to that of the Government, that such transgressions by the Supreme Court into the exclusive area of MPs’ privileges, perks and pensions, which are part of the laws of the land, should not be allowed and as a House, as a whole, we should take a stand against this attitude of the Supreme Court.