DMPQ- . Explain why Lok Sabha speaker’s impartiality in the house is vital for the functioning democracy.

The Office of the Speaker occupies a pivotal position in our parliamentary democracy. It has been said of the Office of the Speaker that while the members of Parliament represent the individual constituencies, the Speaker represents the full authority of the House itself. He/She symbolizes the dignity and power of the House over which he/she is presiding.

Therefore, it is expected that the holder of this Office of high dignity has to be one who can represent the House in all its manifestations. However, over the last two decades, paralysing Parliament has become the standard operating procedure of every Opposition party. The misuse of the post of speaker in the functioning of India’s Parliament — and state assemblies as well — is one among many reasons for falling levels and productivity of the legislatures.

Importance of Speaker’s Independence

Supreme Authority: In the Lok Sabha the Speaker is the supreme authority. He has vast powers, and it is his primary duty to ensure the orderly conduct of the business of the House.

Symbol of Nation’s Freedom: Jawaharlal Nehru referred to the Speaker as “the symbol ofthe nation’sfreedom and liberty” and emphasised that Speakersshould be men of “outstanding ability and impartiality”.

Guardian of the House: MN Kaul and SL Shakdher referred to the speaker asthe conscience and guardian of the House. As the principal spokesperson of the Lok Sabha, the Speaker represents its collective voice.

Issues with the Post of Speaker in Lok Sabha

Favour Ruling Party: Several judgments on the antidefection law have been rendered by the Supreme Court. A common factor that shows up in these rulings is the blatant, partisan conduct of speakers in various state assemblies. Over the last decade and more, an impartial and independent Speaker is difficult to find.

Party Interest Over National Interest: The present practice of the Speaker continuing to be an active member of the ruling party has the inevitable result of his refusing to allow any debate or discussion that may be essential in national interest but may embarrass the ruling party.

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