July 22 trust vote against constitutional provision: Krishnamurthy

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New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) Although Prime Minister Manmohan Singh won the July 22 confidence vote, which was seen as a triumph of democracy, there was no such provision for seeking a trust vote by the Treasury bench in the Constitution, said Dr G V G Krishnamurthy former Law Secretary, member National Law Commission and former Election Commissioner.

He said under Rule 198 of the Conduct of Business Rules, a no-confidence motion can be moved in Lok Sabha by the Opposition and burden of proof is on them and not vice-versa. If such no-confidence fails, it automatically establishes the confidence in the Council of Ministers.

Realising the need of confidence motion, Dr Krishnamurthy asked, ''How is it that the conduct of business rules were not amended by Lok Sabha.'' He questioned Lok Sabha's admission of such confidence motion which did not abide by rules.

He said,'' Lok Sabha rules are applicable to its members only and if so how is it the confidence motion under Rule 184 of Lok Sabha rules was moved by the Prime Minister who was a member of Rajya Sabha.'' He said when the voting actually took place, should not the Ministers who were members of Rajya Sabha including the Prime Minister, who were sitting in the House by virtue of their being members of the Council of Ministers, be not present or asked to leave the House.

He said their presence were tantamount to the violation of free and fair elections which is the very basics of democracy.

Dr Krishnamurthy said Section 62 clause (5) of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951 clearly states that, " No person shall vote at any election if he is confined in a prison, whether under a sentence of imprisonment or transportation or otherwise or is in lawful custody of police. Section 8 of the law disqualifies certain offenders for a period of six years.'' ''If this is the law for a ordinary citizen, can a convicted murderer undegoing imprisonment go to Parliament and cast his vote on behalf of his constituency. How can a law breaker be a law maker,''he questioned.

Dr Krishnamurthy was speaking in a group discussion held at India International Centre on Thursday.

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