LoP post: Speaker Sumitra Mahajan says SC made no observations against her
INDORE: A day after the Supreme Court decided to
interpret the provision of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Speaker Sumitra
Mahajan said on Saturday her denying LoP’s post to Congress was based on rules
and tradition and that the apex court had made no observation against her.
“The Supreme Court has questioned the Centre on the
issue of Lokpal’s appointment in the absence of LoP and the Attorney General
will inform the court about the government’s stand. It has made no observation
against the Speaker,” She told journalists.
She defended her decision of not according LoP’s
status to the leader of the Congress party in the House for want of numbers. “I
have taken the decision after studying the rules and traditions and after
taking experts opinion on the issue.
No opposition party has more than 55. Till date the rule
that a party should have a minimum of 10 per cent seats in the House (for being
accorded the status of LoP) has not changed,” she said.
In any case, Mahajan said, the Opposition exists in
the Lok Sabha and is doing its work properly except for the fact that there is
no Leader of Opposition. The Speaker also said in 1980 and 1984 there was no
Leader of Opposition in the House because no party had the required strength.
In a significant development, the Supreme Court had
yesterday decided to go into the issue of interpreting the provision of LoP in
Lok Sabha in the matter of selection of statutory bodies when there is no
Asking the government to make its stand clear within
two weeks, a bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha had emphasised the
importance of the post saying Leader of Opposition conveys the voice of
representation different from government in the House.
The government had to put on hold the appointment of a
new chief of Central Information Commission yesterday due to the absence of LoP
in the selection committee, leaving the transparency watchdog headless for the
first time since its inception in 2005.