Thursday, September 29, 2022

Ram Jethmalani memorial lecture series: Disruption to parliamentary proceedings an MP’s privilege?

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Ram Jethamalani is a name that needs no introduction. Over the years, case after case, the eminent personality proved his mettle and charisma, emerging as a legendary jurist and a note-worthy MP. As an ode to the prolific personality, India’s Who’s and Who shared their views on the pertinent topic, ‘Is disruption to parliamentary proceedings an MP’s privilege and/or a facet of parliamentary democracy?’ as part of Ram Jethmalani memorial lecture series.

For the lecture series, Ram Jethmalani’s doting son Mahesh Jethmalani was joined with Hon’ble Vice President Of India, Union Cabinet Minister Of Law Kiren Rijiju, Learned Attorney General KK Venugopal, Learned Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, Union Cabinet Minister For Women & Child Welfare Smriti Irani, Lok Sabha MP Mahua Moitra, Former Solicitor General Of India Gopal Subramaniam, Former Solicitor General Of India Ranjit Kumar, Tughlak Editor S Gurumurthy and Former Rajya Sabha MP Pavan Varma, who expressed their take on the burning topic. While Rishabh Gulati, Editor-In-Chief, NewsX, steered the lecture series towards a right direction, Kartikeya Sharma, Founder of iTV Network also marked his presence at the event.

Kartikeya Sharma, Founder of iTV Network, said, “ We at the iTV Network family are honoured to listen to one of the finest and most learned minds from India’s legal and political community. Those who are speaking today are not only for the country but for the furtherance of the cause of democracy around the world at large.“

Rishabh Gulati, Managing Editor, NewsX, said, “From Nanavati to Harshad Mehta, a younger generation today may catch glimpses of his iconic cases, on which movies today are now being made. A biopic of Ram Jethmalani is surely due. He described himself as a maverick but his career was anything but. He went on practicing until just a year before his death, just short of 96. 77 years of practicing law before the courts and writing law in government. In the first edition of this memorial lecture series, we took a deep dive on trial by media so the law minister and some of India’s finest jurists showed the mirror to us, here in the fourth estate. Today, we are discussing parliamentary disruptions.”

Remembering Ram Jethmalani, Hon’ble Vice President Of India M. Venkaiah Naidu said, “He was dynamic and he was admired by people across the country because of his legal acumen. The way he used to put forth his point of view and the beautiful command he had over the subject as well as the language. What made Shri Ram Jethmalani a successful lawyer, was the innovation he used to impart in the process of inquiring new interpretations and possibilities, which the judges sitting on the bench could not ignore and had to even acknowledge at times. With every case that Ram Jethmalani argued, he became more and more sharper and famous. Being a successful lawyer is very demanding, as it requires triumph and energy. He had a passion for the chosen profession and sustained it for long years. As a lawyer, he opened new vistas of legal understanding in almost every major case he argued.”

Hon’ble Minister For Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju stated, “The disruption of the parliament is directly related with the disconnect with what happens in the parliament and what is going out. There is total disconnect with the happening inside the house and the information disseminated outside.”

Smriti Irani, who is presently Union Cabinet Minister For Women & Child Development, added, “When discussions do not become the norm but disruption does, not because voices of people are not heard but because those who could not win through the ballet now use disruption as a political instrument to bring not only disrepute but also bring disregard to constitutional processes then I think many of those who believe in the parliamentary system of democracy need to consider what is the future holding for all of us especially those who rejoice in the fact we are though the oldest civilization but are frankly so the youngest democracy.”

Union minister Mahua Moitra, remembering Ram Jethmalani, expressed, “He was called a maverick, a dangerous politician, not because he was unpredictable or non-trustworthy. He was dangerous to those who indulged in trouble speech. He was feared because he stood true to his values often at the cost of his own political advancement. When I think about these rare qualities as Ram was induced with, I wonder how he would have reacted today looking at the erosion of our constitutional morality and sheer complexities of those duty-bound, who prevent destruction.”

Meanwhile, Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam expressed, “Parliament is not simply a building, Parliament is actually the bedrock of our democracy. For the government it is more important, but the parliaments must always function because their legitimacy itself is enhanced by perpetual accountability. It is in the greater interests of the government that parliaments must function. They must not take the bait very easily, that parliaments are disruptive. I think it is an important factor, which reckons some degree of reflection.”

Apart from NewsX channel, the show was also aired on all our social media channels and major OTT platforms – Zee5, Dailyhunt, JioTV, Shemaroo, Mzaalo, Watcho, Flipkart, Paytm, Tatasky and MX Player.

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