SHRI RAJNITI PRASAD: Sir, I cannot speak, if everybody keeps talking.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Please, please. ...(Interruptions)... Only one speaker at a time.

SHRI RAJNITI PRASAD: Sir, we have come in Parliament. ...(Interruptions)...


֮֕ן ֤ : ֮ ߱ ™ How can I speak, Sir?

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Please continue.

֮֕ן ֤ : ָ, ٻִֵ ֋ , ָ ֟ ֮ ֯ ֯ , ֮ , ל ֮ , ָ ֟ ו֋

ָ, ִָ֮ ֵ ל ֟ ִ֣Ԯ ֮ ָ ֮֯ ׾֮֬ י և פ , ؙ և ֤ ָ ָ և , -֯ ߕ ָ ָ ߕ ? - ֤ ָ ֟ - ֤ ָ ֟ ...(־֮֬)... I don't know, Sir, how can I speak?

ֳ֬: ׻֋, ׻֋

SHRI RAJNITI PRASAD: That is not the point. ...(Interruptions)... That is not the point. The point is, everybody is talking.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: The Minister is noting down the points.

SHRI RAJNITI PRASAD: That is not the point. ...(Interruptions)... That is not the point.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Mr. Jothi, there cannot be another session there.

SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir, we are discussing about the sudden development.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: The hon. Member is complaining about it.

֮֕ן ֤ : ָ, ִֵָ ײֻ , ִ֣Ԯ ֟ ֲ ֮֯ ؙ և פ ָ Ծ ׻֋ ֋х - ֟ ָ ָ 1200 , ָ 150 , 1050 ָ Ӆ ֤ 00 000 ֻ ֟ ִ߸ ֟ ִ߸ ֟ ׻֋ ָ , " ׮ָ, և", ֲֻ֟ ֵ֤ ״ֻ֮ ֻ ֳ֬ , ֟ , ֟ ֺ ָ ׸ , և׸ ߟ ֋, 12 , ָ 2 ִ ָ ֤ ֟ , ߟ ֻ ֟ ֲ ֋ Ùߓ 00 ֮ ֵօ ֮ ֵ, ֮ ִ֣Ԯ ״ֻ, ָ ׾ָ֓ ָ ָ ׾ָ֓ , ֮ ֛ և ״ֻ , ׾֮֬ ָ ֮ ֛ ׬ָ ״ֻ ֮ ָ֮ , ־ ֛ և ״ֻ , և ֟ ֋, ָ ؙ Ù ׻֋ ײֻ ִֵָ ֵ , ײֻ , ֻ ָ ֮ ֺ ֮֮ ꌿ֮ ״ֿ֮ ֮ ֮ ֯ ֮ ו֋, ֮ ו֋, ו֋, ꌿ֮ ״ֿ֮ , ꌿ֮ ֮ 3-4 ߮, ֟ , , ꌿ֮ ִ , ׻֋ , ֟ כ׿֯ ֻ ꌿ֮ כ׿֯ ֻ֟ - ֟ , ꌿ֮ ״ֿ֮ ֕ ֟ biased ꌿ֮ ״ֿ֮ ꌿ֮ ״ֿ֮ ׮֤ , ׬׸ ׮֤ , ֟ biased ֙ ֱֻ ֙ ִ ֵ (2/000 ָ )


֮֕ן ֤ (֟) : ָ, ֟ , ָ ֻ , - ꌿ֮ ߿֮ ֮ ו ֟ ֕ י ֟ , ܵ ӡ ֮֮ߵ ֻ ֤, ֲ֛ ֑ , ָ ܵ ӡ , ꌿ֮ ߿֮ ֤ ףֵָ ֋օ ֤ ֣ ӛ օ ֵ֤ ֮ ׻֋ , ֟ 0ָ000 ָ , ִ ֵ ׌ ꌿ֮ ߿֮ ֮ ֮ , ֟ ָ ָ ָ ֵօ ָ ֤ ӌֵָ ֟ ֻ օ ֤ ꌿ֮ ׸ ֮ ֻ֟ ֵ߅ ֻ֟ ֵ, ֤ ָ ֵ, ָ ?

ָ ֟, ֯ ꌿ֮ ߿֮ ֮ ־ָ ػ ִֵ ׿ ֟ ֮ ϓָ ׿ ֟ ׻֋ ָ ֺ ׾ָ֓ compulsory voting ֤ ֯ ꌿ֮ ߿֮ ׸ ָ ָ ִ ו - excess ֟ , ו sentiments hurt

ָ ֟, ׮ , ֲ 00 , 00 ֵ Ùכ , ߮ ָ ֤ כ֮ ֙ ָ ֙ ߟ ָ, ײָ 00 ֻ כꆸ פ ָ ֋, ָ000 ָ և, ֲ ߟ ֋ ֤ ꌿ֮ ߿֮ ֮ ֟ ׸ ׮֤ פ, ߴ ֋ և ׻֋ ָ ָ ֮ ֮֮ , ָ prebiased opinion ֲָ ָ כ ָ ֟ ֤ ߟ 2 4 ָ impact ֛ ֟ ֻ ָ ״ֻ ׮Ե " ֣" ֱ ָ000 ֻ֙ " և" ֲ ֯ opinion כ֮ 00 ֻ ֮ ֻ ָ , פ ָ ָ ֛ ױ ؙ ֻٕ֮ ֛ ֟ ָ ָ ָ-ָ ֋ ߤָ ָ, Ӧ ָ ָ , ָ פ ֋օ

(2 /֕ ָ ֿ:)


֮֕ן ֤ (֟) : כ ֻ פ פ ? ִֵָ ײֻ - ־ ֟ և , ֵ㌟ , ֯ ֋ ־ , ? ָ-ӓ ֤ ֯ , ֲ ׻Ù ִ - 10 ֤״ֵ ֯ , ֲ ֟ ֮ ׻Ù ִ , - , ׾֮֕ ָ ֟ ֮ ֟

, ֯ ִ , ִֵ ֮ ֮ ֻ ֤ , ָ ״֮֙ ִֵ ֤ ִֵ ֵ, ׻֋ ֯ ִ ײֻ Ӥ þ֟ ָֻ ؙ , -־ Ӥ ִֵָ ײֻ ֯ ָ ֮ ׾֮֬ , ִ ִֵ-ִֵ ָ ֯ ׸֟Ԯ ׻֋ ִ ָ ׸֟Ԯ ׸ ׸ և ֯ ß֮ ׸ ß֮ ׸ ֟ ֯ ֮ ׸ϕי ֮ , ָָ ֮ ָ ֯ ֛և , , ״ֻ?

, ֲ ֣ ֯ - ֮־֤ ֮֯ ֮ ׻֋ -ָ ״֮֙ ֤ פ, ׻֋ ֮־֤


ָ֕ ״ (ָ Ϥ) : ֮־ָ ֳ֬ , ִֵָ -ָָ ׾֬ ֵ - "׮־ֵ ֤֮֟ ֤֮֟- ֣ ֤֮֟ ֿ֟ ־ ן ׾֬, 2004", ײֻ ֛ ֵ㌟ ִֵ ֵ ִ֟ ײֻ ָ ו֮ ֌ֆ ֮ ׾׳֮ ־ פ , ָ ׾ָ֓

ֳ֬ , ָ ס ֛ ֮ ֲ ֤֕ , 1952 ־ þֺ ׮ִ օ   ֳ ֲ ߤָ ӟԟ , ־ ֮ ָ ֮ ֤ ן׮׬ ֵ ָ ָ ָָ ֮ ָ ֮֮ ־ ֮ ֕ , þָ֕ , ָ ן ־ ߔ ה 1952 ָ֟, ׾֮֬ ֳ , ֳ , ã֮ߵ ׮ֵ , ӓֵ֟ ׮ֵ , ֲ ־ , ־ ןֿ֟ ֮ ֤ ֟ ֤֮֟ ןֿ֟ , 50 ֤, 60 ֤, 70 ֤ 50 ֤ ߓ ָ 30 ֤, 35 ֤, 25 ֤ ֬ ֤֮֟ ֮ ֟ ן׮׬֟ ֵ, õï֤ ãן ׮ִ - ָ , ׻֋ - ךև ? ָ ֺ ׾ָ֓ ֮ ָ ߕ ֮ ־ ֵ, þֵֿ֟ ã , ׮ִ ־ ֵ ׻֋ ֮ ӡ ־ ߔ ״ ֲ ߤָ , ׻֋ ׮׿֟ ׮֬׸ ֤֯ ׮׿֟ ׮֬׸ ֤֯ 18 ָ ֤֮֟ ֲֻ֟ 18 ָ ֻ ׮׿֟ ִ ߤָ ֮ 2ָ/ ָ ֿ..


ָ֕ ״ (֟) : , ׻֋ ן - ָ֬ , convict , ֋ꅠ ׻֋ ן , ן ־ ߤָ ֮ , և ־ ֵ ׾ ָ ׾ ־ ֵ ִֵ-ִֵ ָ , ־ ֵ ָ ִֵ-ִֵ ָ ׾ ־֕ ֟ ןֿ֟ ו֮֟ ֮֜ , ֮ ֜ ֋ ׻֋ ؓ֟ ֮ פ ֟ ןֿ֟ ֜ , ֲ ן׮׬֟ ֮ ֋? , 25 ןֿ֮ ו֟ פ, ָָ ֮ և, 50 ֤ ִ ֤֮ פ 50 ֤ ִ ֤֮ , ױ ֲ ֤֮ ֮, ֛ Ͽ ֮օ ָ ׾ָ֓ ֵ ָ ֻ ִ - ֻ֮ , Ӿ Ӿ , ֤֮֟ ָ ֟-֡ ֯ , פ, פ ֲֻ֮ ִ - , ϻ֮ ִ֬ ߤָ ֤֟֟ ָ ߕ וִָ ־ ֵ ֮ ־ ֵ ֲ וִָ ֮, ָ߱ , ָ ߓ ֻ , , ֲ ׾ , וִ ן օ , ִ ָ ן ֯ ֵ֤ ֮ , ן ָ ִ ֮-֮ ־ ֻ , ֻ օ ָ ֻ ױ ָ֮ כ ֋, ֛-֛ ֋ ֋ꅠ ߸-߸ ֮ ־ օ , ־֕ ֤֮֟ ןֿ֟ ֤ ֜ ֵ - ־ ֵ ָ ֛ ָ֕ ׾֟ ־֕ , և ֣ ִ ֮ ־֕ , ׻ֵ ׌ פ־֮ ־֕ ֟ ןֿ֟ ֤ ֜ ֵօ ׯ֔ ָ ֲ ־ ֵ֟ Ӿ ״ֻ֮ ׻֋ ֋ - ָ ֮ ֤֟֟ , ֟ օ ֤֟֟ - ָ ֤֟֟ ֲ , ֵ , ֮օ ֮ , ָ ִ ־ ֵ ֋, օ ֛ ߲ ָ ãן , ־֕ ו֮֟ ֤֮֟ ןֿ֟ ֜ , ֜ ֵ, ׻֋ ãן Ӿ׮ ׮־ֵԟ , ־ֿ ׌ ֤֮֟ ֤֮֟ ? ӡ , ֯ ־ ֻ ꅠ , ׾֯ ֙ã , ֙ã ֻ , ֯ ָ ־ ֻ ָ ׾֟ ֛, וִ ֯ ֋ ֯ ֤֮֟ ֿ , ֻ ֯ ָ֟ ֤֮֟ ֻ֟ , ֻ invalid ֋, , ֟ ֋ ֮֯ ֤֮֟ ׮־ֵԟ ׮׿֟ ׻֋ ׮׿֟ ־ã ֮֮ Ӿ׮ ׮־ֵԟ ֮֮ , ־ã ֮ , ־ ֵ ָ ׮׿֟ ׾ָ֓ ׻֋ ׾ָ֓ ִֵָ ׾֬ ֋ , ִ֣Ԯ

־ ֵ ֵ-ךև ֜ , ו֮ ӟִָ , օ ֮, ӟԟ ָ׮ֵ ֜, ִֵ-ִֵ ָ ָ ָ ֣-֣ ִ ׮־ֵ , ׮־ֵ , ִֵ-ִֵ ָ כߙ ִֵ-ִֵ ָ ָ ֤ ߕ ֮ ֯ ֋߅ , ָ֓ ֮֮ ֛, ָ֓ ִ֬ ֜ ־ ֛ ֋, ϳ׾֟ ֋, ׻֋ ־ֿ ־ ־ ־ ו֟ פ ֟ , פ ֟ ָ ֵ - ־ וִ֮ ָ וֵ֟ ֵ ֵ ֵ ו וֵ֟ ֵ, ־ ָ ֵօ

('2s/nb' ָ ָ)


ָ֕ ״ (֟) : ָ electronic media , ֟֟ ־ , ־ ֻ ֮ ־ ֤֮֟ ֤֮֟ ֿ֟, ϳ׾֟ ֟ ϳ׾֟ ָ ִ ֤֟֟ ֛ ֮ ִ ֤֟֟ ָ ϳ־ ֛ ׻֋ ׾֬ Ӥ ־ ־ ֤ ־ ֟ և , ָ ֟ և , ָ ָ ֮ ׻֋ ִֵָ ׾֬ ß , ־ֿ ϟߟ ָ ӳ߸֯ ׾ָ֓ ӡֵֻ ָ ׾ָ֓ ־ ֵ ָ ׾ָ֓ ָ ׾֟ ֋, ו ָ ֳ ֤֮֟ , ֳ ֤֮֟ ֋, ־׬ ֤֮֟ , ָ ־ã ֮֮ , ײֻ ִ֣Ԯ (ִ֯)

SHRI SHARAD ANANTRAO JOSHI (MAHARASHTRA): Thank you, Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir. The proposer of the Bill has proposed, in fact, one and a quarter ideas. One idea is to make voting compulsory, and a quarter idea, which has, incidentally, been inserted in the latter paragraph is about prohibiting the polls either before the voting or after the voting. Sir, it is an excellent idea, and it should have met with no opposition whatsoever. But, the proposer being what he is, he tends to give rather than a sugar-coated quinine, a quinine-coated sugar pill. There used to be a Finance Minister at the time of the Chinese aggression who had an excellent idea of collecting some money by way of deposits from the people. When the Chinese aggression took place, people were anxious to contribute to the national cause. But he called the scheme, Compulsory Deposit Scheme. It was this word, 'compulsory', which gave lot of happiness to that particular Finance Minister, but, the scheme did not work as well as he expected it would. Similarly, I think, a good idea is being put in a quinine-coated pill by saying that it should be made compulsory. I would come to the first part of it; the compulsory voting part of it.

Sir, the analysis made by all the previous speakers is very correct. Firstly, the people, who get into the voters list themselves, are around 50 per cent and not more than that. There are quite a number of people who do not figure in the list at all. And, there are quite a few people who always complain; particularly, even the celebrities complain that their names are not included in the list. Let us say, 60 per cent of the people are included in the voters list. The proportion of voters can be 25, 35, 40 or 50, so, we have got just about 30 per cent of the total citizenry which is voting. According to the first past the post rule, a person who has even lost the deposit can get elected. That has happened in many cases. But there are many cases where people who get ten per cent of the votes get elected. So, if you find out, then, technically, there is a possibility that a person, who does not represent even one per cent of the citizenry, gets elected. Now, that is a situation which needs to be corrected, and the proposer of the Bill, certainly, needs to be complimented for this reason.

The important thing is, when he says the word, 'compulsory', there are certain ramifications that follow. When you make it compulsory, do you undertake to see that every citizen, who is of age and who satisfies the conditions for involvement as a voter, will necessarily get into the voters list? Is there any indication? You just cannot say that he will have to go and find out if his name is there in the voters' list because there is jurisdiction on the subject. I wish the proposer of the Bill had studied that legislation. (Contd. By PK/2T)


SHRI SHARAD ANANTRAO JOSHI (CONTD.): If a person is stopped from entering a district or a city and that notification appears in the newspapers, the courts have given clear judgement that the fact that it has appeared in the newspapers cannot be taken as sufficient notice. Similarly, the fact that his name, actually, appears in the voters' list, cannot be taken as sufficient notice that the person knows that his name is there in the voters' list. There will be an additional obligation on the part of the Election Commission, or, the Returning Officer there to individually intimate every voter that your name is, actually, there; you simply can't say that the voters' lists are presented somewhere, you can go and find out. That will be an obligation, which will have to be carried out if you make voting compulsory. This is number one.

Number two, the remedy has to be done with a certain amount of study. It is a fact that very few people like to go and vote. But if you make an analysis, you will find that there is a qualitative difference between the people who come to vote and those who don't come to vote; there is a class difference. And, as Misraji mentioned, the voters from the slum areas, from the poorer quarters, come and participate in a much larger proportion than those who are well-to-do, who live in flats in cities. What is the reason behind this? Why is it that those who are relatively well-to-do are not interested in exercising their right to vote? I think some analysis is necessary. I would say, Sir, that after 60 years of exercise of electorate democracy, there is a general apathy in the electorate and among the citizens that whatever the results of the election, it does not really change the situation of the country as a whole. The people, at large, have given up the hope that any Party, any leader, will come into power who will, ultimately, bring about some change of significance for the country as a whole. The people who go to vote are, generally, the people who expect some kind of a personal betterment as a result of the results of election. For example, there is some very prominent person in the slums who is able to tell those persons that unless you vote for a particular Party or a particular person, you will not be able to live in this slum. This is the largest majority of people who, actually, come to vote and preparation for election these days really means being able to purchase these dadas. Sir, the other people who are relatively well-to-do find themselves disinterested in the elections. The important thing is how can we make the people who are better off relatively interested in the elections. Well, there can be a better way. If you say 'compulsory', then there is going to be a certain expenditure, even though that expenditure has not been mentioned. And, our experience up till now is, everytime you try to enforce a reform, then the police machinery comes in and, ultimately, it results in an additional burden on the police machinery and increase corruption in the police machinery. Not only that, it also results in the general slackening of the law and order situation. Sir, in this particular case, it will be worthwhile finding out if it is the Income-tax payers who are, generally, apathetic to coming to the polling booth and if some kind of an inducement be given. It is for the Finance Minister to make concrete proposals as to whether some kind of an inducement can be given as there is an inducement given to the slum dweller that he will be able to live in the slums, or, at least be alive if he votes and he may not be alive if he doesn't vote. Therefore, a similar kind of inducement can be given. Today, the element of compulsion and coercion is being exercised by the dadas of the slums; that is why, when people talk of aam admi, they are really talking of the mechanism which is used for rallying these people. Sir, as for compulsion, I would like to even ask a question: what is going to be the mechanism for finding out who has voted and who has not voted? The ink that is put here can stay only for some time. There are people who go to vote and come out without the ink dot. Of course, you can go to the polling booth and find out the number of people who have, actually, voted. (Contd. by PB/2U)


SHRI SHARAD ANANTRAO JOSHI (CONTD.): But that list cannot be taken as a conclusive proof because, in many cases, there is impersonation and the people who have actually not voted might be seen on the record as have actually voted. Therefore, when you go to the court of law and try to actually prosecute a person for not having voted, I would like to humbly point out that that kind of a prosecution is unlikely to succeed in most cases.

Sir, the element of compulsion will have to be offset, not by compulsion but by further inducement, and while the proposer of the Bill has pointed out a correct disease, I think this should become a subject matter of study, and we should really try to find out who doesn't vote and how can they be induced to vote rather than make a coercive or compulsory mechanism.

As regards the quarter part about not having the pre-poll or post-poll results, I think, there is some kind of a drafting mistake. The idea possibly was not to ban or to prohibit the polls. The idea was to ban or prohibit the publication of the poll results, and there is a lot of difference between the two. You can't stop people from gathering information. That is his right of information. They have every right to collect knowledge. You can't stop me from going and trying to find out who has voted for whom. The only thing you can say is that he should not publish it in order to influence the trend of voting of the people who have as yet not voted. So, there has to be some kind of a drafting correction in the Bill that it is not the polls that are being prohibited; it is the publication of the polls, and once that correction is made, the question arises, are you really opposed to the present kind of statistical polls or polls based on random sample, or, are you opposed to the publication?

Sir, I know of a very prominent leader who used to be once a Cabinet Minister and he appears on the television and gives interviews. He gives his views about what is going to be the likely outcome of the elections that are forthcoming. He doesn't base himself from the electoral polls at all. But he has such a reputation for being a wise man, knowing the Indian polity, that his word has come to have a certain prestige and reputation. Now, are you going to say that such predictions and such interviews, which are not based on any polls -- he doesn't even claim to have a sample poll -- will be allowed? Will that be allowed?

And, let me say one more thing, Sir, that most of the people don't go by pre-polls. A far more dependable prediction is given by the people who take the satta on it. Even today if you want to know what is going to happen in Gujarat, then don't go by any of the poll predictions, take it from what is the bet being given, and you will find that in 95 per cent of the cases, it is the rate that is given on the satta which comes out to be more dependable. Now, what will happen is, that the satta will become more dependable than the so-called pseudo-scientific things. I am not claiming that they are entirely scientific. There is nothing like an entirely scientific sample study, but rather than have that kind of an attempt at a scientific prognosis, if you encourage entirely unscientific, personal and subjective prognosis, I don't think that will be an improvement. In any case, you cannot prohibit polls, you will have to prohibit the publication of the poll outcome, and if you want to prohibit the publication of poll outcome you have to make it clear that no kind of prediction, no kind of guess, no kind of estimate, should be published because somebody can take a kind of camouflage and say, 'you know the astrologers who sit by the road side, they have a parrot which goes and picks up an envelope; he can say that 'I have not had a poll, but this is what my parrot says.'

Similarly, Sir, when you talk of making anything compulsory, you have to think of the possible loopholes and the possible way in which people can navigate through it. What is important is, you have a good idea, you have a noble purpose of making Indian democracy more representative, but don't think of this idea of compulsory voting. Don't let the Stalin in you prevail over the gentleman in you and make it compulsory. What should be done is, recommend a study which will go into why people are indifferent to voting, why people are basing themselves on the poll and try to find out an appropriate remedy for that. Thank you, Sir. (Ends)

(Followed by 2w/SKC)


SHRI N. JOTHI (TAMIL NADU): Sir, to the surprise of everyone here, I am not supporting this Bill; I am opposing it. This is not because it has been drafted by Shri Narayanasamy but because it is against the law; I shall tell you the reasons based on law.

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: We are in Parliament and not in a court.

SHRI N. JOTHI: Parliament cannot pass any law contrary to the Fundamental Rights. That is the basic concept. ..(Interruptions)... Parliament cannot destabilise the basic structure of the Constitution. That was the ruling given by an eleven-member branch.

Sir, I would like to say how this Bill is totally wrong, from heading till the end. It consists of three parts. The first part deals with compulsory voting; that is mentioned in clauses 3 and 4. The second part deals with prohibition of media from coming out with opinion polls and surveys. The third part deals with punishment. These are the three parts of this Bill.

Sir, I shall now deal with the first part. There is a purpose behind bringing forth this first part according to Mr. Narayanasamy. Ours is a great democratic country. India is one of the largest democracies in the world whereas people are not actively participating in the elections. Therefore, in order to make people participate, they must be punished. The punishment, according to Mr. Narayanasamy is, to award a fine of Rs. 5000 or one week in jail. He means to say that the greatest democracy can be made to run by putting people in jail! That is a wonderful idea! This excellent idea that germinated in Mr. Narayanasamy's mind ultimately lands up people in jail! That is what he wants to do. ...(Interruptions)... This is what he has said; Clause 6 talks about 'whoever contravenes Section 3...' meaning, people who do not vote without valid reasons -- according to him the valid reasons are ailment, incapacity and prior permission; these are the three concessions he has given. A person cannot say that he does not like a candidate; he must go and vote for either of the two rowdies. So, if they do not go and vote, one month's jail and Rs. 5000 penalty are readily available for the citizens of this country! This is the gratitude we are showing them for having elected us!

Sir, part 1, unfortunately, is based on the principle that voting is a right. But voting is only a statutory right under the Representation of People Act; it is not a Fundamental Right. The Supreme Court, on several occasions, has said that the right to vote is not a Fundamental Right; it is only a statutory right and people could exercise their options. Now, here, the mover of the Bill is compelling the voter to go and vote. Let us imagine a situation where candidate 'A' is a candidate like Mr. Narayanasamy, and he is being opposed by another candidate 'B', similar in nature to Mr. Narayanasamy! Now, who will go and vote? Nobody would go and vote! So, all people would land up in jail! Thus, according to the mover of the Bill, whether you like a candidate or not, unless a person gets medical certificate from a medical practitioner that he is unwell...(Interruptions)...

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIEN): Is that your intention, Mr. Narayanasamy?..(Interruptions)...

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Sir, I shall answer that later. I don't wish to make him a hero! I shall answer it.

SHRI SHANTARAM LAXMAN NAIK: Sir, he is casting aspersions on him.

SHRI N. JOTHI: Whether he likes it or not, it is clearly available in writing, in black and white.

The reason he has given for this is that people are not coming forward to vote; only a few voters come to vote and people get elected. Mr. Narayanasamy, you are making voting compulsory under this Bill. But what steps have you taken to prevent farmers from committing suicide? Who would punish those people who are unable to prevent it? What steps have you taken to feed the poorest of the poor who find it hard to get three meals a day? Has any provision been made that makes it compulsory that Government would feed them with three meals a day? Have you come out with any Bill for that? Have you ensured that there would be compulsory education, at least up to the Higher Secondary level, to every citizen of this country, and that otherwise the rulers would be put to jail? Have you brought in any such Bill? What is this drama you are creating? A citizen of this country does not want to vote; he wants the minimum food, clothing, and the minimum means of living. Have you guaranteed that? Have you ensured that? You are not doing that. You are bringing in multi-national companies to run chicken shops and to run coffee shops.

(Contd. by 2x/hk)




SHRI N. JOTHI (CONTD.): This is what your democracy now brought in. You are giving Coca Cola as if we do not know how to prepare soft drinks. Please understand as to why people are not coming to vote. They have got frustration; they have become upset. Whichever party comes to power in the Centre, they are not feeding the people properly; they are not running the Government properly. People have become upset. When there is a bilateral agreement between two countries and we want discussion on that, Parliament is stalled for days together. What is the answer to it? There is no provision under the rules to discuss that. Above all, Lok Sabha is running from 2004, but how many times we have met? How much respect have you given to democracy? How many sittings were there earlier? There were 200 days, 190 days or 180 days sittings earlier in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha. Now, we are sitting for 88 days per year. You are now talking about democracy. Whenever we raise people issue, you shout and you don't even allow us to discuss the issue, and you talk about democracy! That is why people do not want to vote. True to your character, it is a * legislation. I term this as * legislation. Sir, if there is a good hotel and good food is served, it needs no advertisement. There is a saying in Tamil, "Camphor need not have any advertisement' the camphor itself will bring people to it." Like that, if you are good enough, people will come to vote. If you are ruling well, people will come to vote. If you look at the percentage of voting of Lok Sabha ..(Interruptions).. Am I not entitled to debate on this issue?..(Interruptions)..


* Expunged as ordered by the Chair.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIEN): Please maintain order in the House.(Interruptions)

SHRI N. JOTHI: This is my view, Sir, I stand by my view. Secondly, Sir, what is the level of democracy that we are maintaining at present? Now, Sir, I say about the Madras High Court judgement on which I argued for 18 days. Why? On the issue of mutilating public with knife. Local body election was looted; it was over in one hour. BJP cried before the Press. I could not vote. My vote was voted by rowdy. ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Sir, this Member is wanted for a criminal case in Tamil Nadu. There is a bail petition pending. He has filed a bail application. Can he be allowed to speak now?..(Interruptions).. * ..(Interruptions).. There is an office of profit inquiry against him by the Election Commission. ..(Interruptions).. Can you allow such a person to talk like this? ..(Interruptions)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: I will give you time. ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI N. JOTHI: Government is capable of filing only cases. ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: I have a point of order. ..(Interruptions).. How can a person against whom a criminal case is going on ..(Interruptions)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: I will give you time. ..(Interruptions).. I will give you time. Please take your seat. ..(Interruptions).. Please take your seat. ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: He is wanted in a criminal case. ..(Interruptions).. He has misappropriated..(Interruptions)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIEN): I will give you time. ..(Interruptions).. What Mr. Shunmugasundaram said will not go on record. ..(Interruptions).. This will not go on record. ..(Interruptions).. I will give you time. You can give an equally effective speech. ..(Interruptions).. Your name is here. I will give you time. Why do you worry? ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir, if you want, I can clarify his point of order.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: No. You please proceed.

SHRI N. JOTHI: I am not worried about anything. If they think, they can call me 'Don'.



THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: I will give you time. ..(Interruptions).. You can give your befitting reply. ..(Interruptions)..

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Hon. Member is speaking about the cases in which he has appeared. Let him speak on the subject.

SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir, in the local body election, there is a three-member Bench judgement of the Madras High Court. (Contd. by 2y/KSK)


SHRI N. JOTHI (CONTD): And, I have not lost. There is a finding that police did not prevent the rowdies from booth capturing and even with heavy strictures passed, the same policemen continued to have same office; the same Election Commissioner continued to enjoy the same perks. Now, who will have faith in democracy if these kinds of things are happening?

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Sir, I have a point of order.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Can you mention under what rule?


*Not Recorded.

SHRI N. JOTHI: First, let him quote the rule.

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: It is a question of privilege also.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIEN): For privilege, you have to send a notice...(Interruptions). Now, you can mention your point of order.

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: You can decide this. Sir, whatever Mr. Jothi speaks here, he has used it in his bail application earlier where a bail application enquiry is going on which is not over yet. Similarly, in his bail application, he has said that the case has been falsely registered because he made certain speeches in this hon. House.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Is your point connected with election or voting?...(Interruptions).

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Sir, it is also connected with privilege, disqualification on the issue of office of profit. It is all connected.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: It is not a point of order. If it is a point of order, you have to quote the rule.

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: He has made a false plea before the Court.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: No, when your chance comes, you can reply that point. If you are raising a point of order, please quote the rule. Is there any violation of any rule? No.

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Sir, whatever he is speaking here, he has also used similar arguments in the Court and has said that some false case has been registered...(Interruptions).

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Some subjective point may be there, but why do you object to it?

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: Sir, I am on a point of order.


SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: My point of order is on the subject on which the hon. Member is speaking. He himself said that there are three parts in the Bill. Number one - compulsory voting; number two - prohibition of pre-poll survey and exit poll; and, number three - punishment. We are confined to only this point.

SHRI N. JOTHI: I am confining to this only.

SHRI V. NARAYANASAMY: No, he is not confining to this only. Sir, he is referring to an incident that took place in the election. That has nothing to do with this Bill. How can he mention about election process? I am seeking prohibition of exit poll, pre-poll survey by the Election Commission. That is what I said Hon. Member is telling about some incident which has nothing to do with the Bill.

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: One more thing, Sir.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: No,...(Interruptions)...No, I will give you time. Please, take your seat.

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Whatever he has spoken here, he has used similar arguments in the bail application


SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: He says that he has spoken something...(Interruptions).


SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: But, that is wrong...(Interruptions). He has.....(Interruptions).

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Please, take your seat...(Interruptions).

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Whatever he is speaking now, let him assure that he will not make any false statement...(Interruptions). Whatever he is speaking, he is only speaking for the purpose of putting his point in the Court...(Interruptions).

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIEN): Please, take your seat. Mr. Shunmugasundaram, If he makes some wrong statement here, I am not the person to judge whether it is wrong or not....(Interruptions). Listen...(Interruptions). In the rules book, there are provisions for that. You can go through the rules book and you can give a notice against him. There are provisions...(Interruptions). Mr. Shanmugasundaram, you are not allowing me to speak...(Interruptions).

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Can he use the proceedings of this House for his own bail release? He is a *.

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: You sit down. First of all, the word * will not go on record. You cannot address another Member of this House like that.

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: But, criminal proceedings are pending against him...(Interruptions).

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Please, sit down...(Interruptions). I am going by the rules. (continued by 2z - gsp)


THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: You understand it. No Member will address any other Member a * in this House. I am going by the rules. (Interruptions)

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: But, Sir...(Interruptions)....

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Mr. Shunmugasundaram, you sit down. You cannot interrupt me. Sit down. I have to go by rules. What can I do?

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Let me clarify. (Interruptions)

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: You have clarified many times. (Interruptions)


* Expunged as ordered by the Chair

No, no. Sit down. I will give you time. After he finishes his speech, I will give you time.

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Sir, I am only saying that...(Interruptions)...

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIEN): No, no. Sit down. (Interruptions) I will give you time. See, a Member might have used in this House what he used elsewhere, what he spoke elsewhere. It is not the job of the Chair to sit on judgement of that thing. My job is to see, firstly, whether he has said anything unparliamentary, and, secondly, whether he has violated any rule. You raised a point of order; Mr. Narayanasamy also raised a point of order. But none of you have brought a point here to prove that he has violated any rule of this book. Therefore, he can continue. No more discussion. But I have one observation to make. (Interruptions) You please speak on the subject. Even though saying something else is...(Interruptions)....

Even though saying something else is not against the rules but as per the convention in this House, you should stick to the subject. (Interruptions)

SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir, I will follow it. (Interruptions) Thank you, Sir. I will follow it. Sir, in the Statement of Objects and Reasons, in line no. 3, it is stated, "it reveals a very sad feature of our democracy when we find that the voters' turnout in the elections is decreasing very fast". Only to emulate these lines, I quoted the incident of rowdies taking into booth capturing. I am very well within the ambit of the Bill. I have not traversed beyond the Bill. That is what Mr. Joshi also said that dadas are capturing the booths. When booth capturing is being engineered and not prevented, who will come and vote. That is what I said. I never deviated from the discussion. It is only personal frustration of some people who cannot tolerate me that they are talking something...(Interruptions)...God will take care of them. (Interruptions) Sir, Mr. Narayanasamy cannot...(Interruptions)...

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN (PROF. P.J. KURIEN): No, no. (Interruptions) You address the Chair.

SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir, as long as you are not ruling well, people will not have any enthusiasm to come and vote. This is number one. I need not dwell on that.

Sir, now I come to the second issue of pre-poll survey or exit poll. Sir, the framing of this provision, 'Prohibition on pre-poll survey, exit poll', clause 5, is totally against article 19(1)(a). Article 19(1)(a) is the fundamental right which guarantees Freedom of Speech and Expression. Sir, in fact, the issue has gone to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court has given a verdict that we cannot ban it. (Interruptions) Sir, this is the situation. As far as article 19(1)(a) is concerned, clause 5 is totally against the Press, the freedom of the Press and freedom of the electronic media. Sir, there can be any kind of opinion, and, people would not be carried away by such opinion. People would be carried away by the manner, in which you have ruled; by the candidates who are there. So, clause 5 is absolutely contrary to the existing law, and, according to the fundamental rights, clause 5 cannot be couched in the manner in which an attempt is being made to get it passed.

Sir, coming to the overriding effect, clause 7 says that the provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force. Mr. Vice-Chairman, Sir, I would like to submit on this clause that the Parliament cannot make any law which affects the basic structure of the Constitution. The basic structure of the Constitution is more enshrined in fundamental rights, Part III. Part III guarantees freedom of speech and expression. This law, even if it comes through a Government Bill, it will not stand the test. (Contd. by sk-3a)


SHRI N. JOTHI (CONTD.): Let us not venture in some enthusiasm which his not favoured by framework of law. Lastly, Sir, I would like to submit a few words...


SHRI N. JOTHI: Yes, Sir, I am concluding. Sir, I have been insulted. I am at your complete custody; I am at your complete disposal; I am at your hands, Sir. I have been badly insulted by a Member by using a word ...(Interruptions).. I would like to know ...(Interruptions)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: You can't say that. ...(Interruptions).. That is expunged. ...(Interruptions).. Please ...(Interruptions).. Once expunged, you can't mention about that. ...(Interruptions)..

SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM: Is it a fact that ...(Interruptions)..

THE VICE-CHAIRMAN: Mr. Shunmugasundaram, next is your chance. ...(Interruptions).. Then, why do you interrupt? Now, listen, what is expunged by the Chair is gone. There is no question of referring to that.

SHRI N. JOTHI: Sir, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, that is, Mahatama Gandhi, was prosecuted. He was not prosecuted as a freedom fighter. There is no provision for freedom fighters. They will always put some section to prevent somebody from doing his natural work. Sir, this democracy has seen, the people of Government have seen and I have ...(Interruptions).. I know how to tackle it. Thank you.


SHRI R. SHUNMUGASUNDARAM (TAMIL NADU): Sir, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity. The Bill, moved by the hon. Member, Mr. Narayanasamy, requires that there shall be compulsory voting and prohibition of pre-poll survey and exit poll of elections. It is in two parts. The compulsory voting is a welcome proposal. This is not the first time that such proposal is coming anywhere. Particularly, in India, this had been debated earlier after seeing the success of such a policy in Australia. There is compulsory voting in Australia. So, every citizen is asked to vote and a person who is leaving the country is asked to vote on line so that the elected Member represent the whole country or the whole constituency, not a fraction, as it happens now. I can recall, in 2001 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, a very low percentage of votes was cast. So, that was not proper representation given by the people. In the city of Chennai, only 38 per cent voting was done in a prime constituency. This goes to show that there were not many people coming forward to vote. This happens depending on season also. During the summer season, people like to go to some hilly areas, on tours, on vacations, etc. Therefore, they are not interested in coming forward to cast vote. As a result of this, the representative body, which is ultimately elected, is not the true representation of the people. So, in order to prevent that, the hon. Member has introduced this Bill. This shall be welcomed. I also welcome it. My friend says that this provision is there in Singapore also. When it is successful in smaller countries, why can't it be successful in a country like ours? Of course, it requires a lot of infrastructure facility and huge sums of money.

(Contd. by 3B-ysr)