The government has written to the Rajya Sabha Secretariat to ban an MP’s Provisionally Accepted Question (PAQ) in the Upper House on ‘India’s position in the Democracy Index’, seeking the reason why the India slipped to 53rd position in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy. Index, The Indian Express has learned.
The question, which was due to be answered on February 10, was posed by TMC MP Shanta Chhetri.
She wanted the External Affairs Minister to cite the reasons for India’s fall to 53rd position in the EIU’s Democracy Index, if the government was aware that it was reflecting India in a bad light and if the government had taken steps to improve India’s ranking.
In a letter to the Rajya Sabha secretariat on Wednesday, the Ministry of External Affairs reportedly pointed out that the same issue was dismissed by the Ministry of Law and Justice during the monsoon session in July last year.
The MEA, it is learned, said that it asked the Ministry of Law and Justice to accept the question but the latter, while accepting the question, wrote to the Secretariat of the Rajya Sabha rejecting it.
Last year, the government tried to engage with the London-based EIU after the Democracy Index rated India as a “flawed democracy”.
This was stated in a letter from the Ministry of Law to the Rajya Sabha secretariat on July 15, seeking to dismiss the same matter saying it was of a sensitive nature.
The Justice Department also said EIU’s rankings methodology was not shared with the department after contact was made. He noted that the rankings were made without consulting government agencies.
According to the Rules of Rajya Sabha, the admissibility of advice given by members regarding matters in Rajya Sabha is governed by Rules 47 to 50 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha).
The Ministry of Justice had referred to the rule: “(XV) it will not ask for information on trivial matters; (XVIII) it shall not raise matters under the control of bodies or persons which are not primarily responsible to the Government of India. »