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No House voting on N-deal, Speaker spoils Oppn plan

Agencies
Aug 17, 2007 at 03:31pm IST

New Delhi: Making it clear that Parliament has 'no competence' to decide on operationalisation of Indo-US nuclear agreement, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Friday rejected the Opposition demand for re-negotiation of the deal and voting on it in the House.

The House will, however, discuss the nuclear deal on Monday under a rule that does not entail voting, he said.

"There has been no occasion where any treaty or agreement was ever discussed under Rule 184," Chatterjee observed, while rejecting the motions moved by Leader of Opposition LK Advani, BJP member Santosh Gangwar and Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav for debate under the rule which entails voting.

NO DEAL: Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee rejected the Opposition demand for re-negotiation of Indo-US nuclear deal.

He said the government has the 'sovereign' power and 'unrestricted' right to enter into any treaty or agreement like the Indo-US nuclear deal with other countries and it is well-established that "there is no requirement to obtain ratification from Parliament".

The motions 'require the government to re-negotiate' the 123 nuclear agreement, he pointed out.

By asking the government to re-negotiate the pact, the motions "in effect seek to disapprove (of) the agreement entered into and require the government not to give effect to the agreement in its present form and contents, which the House has no competence to do," the Speaker said.

"It will clearly amount to the House rejecting the agreement in its present form," he added.

Under the Constitution and in the absence of appropriate laws made by Parliament, "the right of the Central government to enter into treaties and agreements with foreign countries in its sovereign power, is unrestricted and any such treaty or agreement becomes effective without any intervention by Parliament," Chatterjee said.

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