The Supreme Court had recently dismissed a plea seeking a direction to the Centre and others to take steps to create an appropriate system that empowers citizens to have a right to stand in the Parliament. The Court said, “The reliefs which have been sought fall exclusively within the domain of Parliament and do not fall within the purview of Article 32 of the Constitution.
The writ petition filed prayed that it is imperative for the respondents (including the Centre) to take substantive steps in order to ensure that citizens can have their voices heard in Parliament without facing undue barriers and difficulties. The petitioner further stated as an ordinary citizen of the country, the petitioner felt “disempowered” when it came to participation in the democratic process and after people cast their votes and elect representatives, there is no scope for any further participation. Also, the absence of this mechanism creates a void between elected representatives and citizens. The people are disconnected from the law-making process. This distancing of the citizens from their inherent rights to fully participate in Indian democracy is a matter of grave concern.
Thus, the plea contended that formulation of well-reasoned and reasonable rules which allow citizens to directly petition Parliament will usher in a transformative era of democratic governance and create an environment for robust engagement between the people of the country and members of Parliament. It sought a direction to the Centre and others to expeditiously take steps to create an appropriate system or reasonable rules and regulations which empower citizens to petition Parliament and seek initiation of a debate on the issues highlighted by them. The plea was thereafter dismissed by the Court stating that it does not fall within its ambit.