New Delhi, July 27: Laying of a notification on Newsprint Control Order was today objected to in Rajya Sabha on the grounds that the operation of such an order had been stayed by the Kolkata High Court.
Soon after the House met for the day, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien called Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to lay a copy of Notification No. S.O. 1690 (E), dated May 10, 2016, publishing the Newsprint Control (Amendment) Order, 2016, under sub-section (2H) of Section 29B of the Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951.
But Sukhendu Sekhar Roy (TMC) protested it, raising a point of order. He said the notification had last week been stayed by the Kolkata High Court and it cannot be laid on the table. "The Minister should not lay this notification before this Council until or unless the stay is vacated," he said.
Sitharaman said she would have attached the said order if she had prior knowledge of it.
When Roy said he was aware of the stay as he was counsel in the case, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked if he was an interested party.
Roy replied that he was only inviting attention of the Chair to the stay so that nobody should flout the court order.
He then went on to read a rule for laying papers about matters pertaining to compliance of Constitution and asked the said notification to be referred to Rajya Sabhas Committee on Laying of Papers. Kurien said as he understood, the government has not been intimated of the stay and so it could not take cognizance of it.
A court stay, he said, means stay on implementation of a notification or an order. Placing or laying on the table of the House does not mean the order is being operationalised. "If it is stayed, the order is not operational," he said, adding that placing it on the table was for information of all.
Placing an order or notification on the table of the House is not violating the stay order of High Court as no one can take the pretext that mere placing of the order means its implementation, he said.
Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said unless court says do not place the notification on the table of Parliament, there is nothing wrong in laying the paper on the table of the House.
Kurien said by placing the notification, the government is informing the House. "Nothing more than that." He thereafter permitted Sitharaman to lay the notification on the table of the House.