LS Speaker hopes speedy legislation for women's representation

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jun 13 (UNI) Stating that women's participation and empowerment at all levels was the key to propel democracy, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today hoped that the proposed legislative initiative will be in place soon to ensure due representation of women in the representative bodies.

''A large section of our population is looking forward to it with great interest today and my hope is that it will be a part of our Constitution during my tenure as the Speaker of Lok Sabha,'' he said, delivering the first EMS Memorial Lecture 'Democratic Consolidation: The Indian Experience', here.

Pointing out that development could not be successful if women were not made equal partners in nation-building endeavours, he said experience at various political and administrative levels has shown that women tend to do better in terms of participation in the decision making process.

Hitting out at the judiciary, he said ''our justice delivery system is at variance with certain democratic ideals because some organs of our Constitution are trying to encroach into others domain and thereby creating distortions.'' Mr Chatterjee said the reported corrupt practices with high cost of litigation, had made the common man apprehensive about approaching the courts.

The courts had also become inaccessible and unaffordable for majority of the people, he said, and added the inordinately slow justice delivery system had shaken the faith of citizens. ''Those at the receiving end of the system end up with justice denied because of inordinate delays and huge expenses, beyond the reach of the poor peasants, the dismissed workmen and the down trodden,'' he alleged.

Noting that a country with unequal distribution of opportunities and wealth could hardly promise long-term security and stability, he said democratic consolidation was not possible unless a decisive battle against all social evils and economic backwardness was fought at every level.

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