Chandigarh, Sept 21 : Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Sunday said that extraordinary laws to deal with terror are prone to misuse.
Chatterjee, while addressing the inaugural function of the 73rd All India Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislatures in Chandigarh, said, "While extraordinary laws are sometimes required to deal with extraordinary situations arising out of terrorist violence, the irony is that such extraordinary laws are prone to abuse leading to the undermining of the rule of law."
Chatterjee's comments came in the backdrop of the demand by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to restore a stringent anti-terror law Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in the wake of the serial blasts in major cities of the country.
The Lok Sabha Speaker said, "While there is a need to strengthen our laws, but the first and foremost impact of such laws is felt by law-abiding citizens whose fundamental rights and liberties at times are encroached upon without providing for the timely and proper redressal of their grievances."
"The power given to the law-enforcement agencies entrusted to tackle such situations are often abused defeating the very purpose of such laws," he said.
Chatterjee further said that the role of legislatures in fighting terrorism is to evaluate the work done by governments and to ensure that the agencies responsible for the task of fighting terrorism carry out their responsibilities faithfully and within the bounds of the law.
He inaugurated the conference inside the Haryana Vidhan Sabha complex. n his inaugural address, Chatterjee said that issues such as the time management in the house, code of conduct for members, need to strengthen public faith in democratic institutions and terrorism, a threat to national unity and role of legislatures will be discussed in the conference.
He also appealed to the media to highlight the good work done by sincere and committed members inside the house and its committees.