A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court by the Supreme Court advocate Ashwini Upadhyay so as to direct the centre and states for publishing draft legislation 60 days in advance before introducing the same in the State Assemblies and Parliament on public websites.
The plea has been filed in relation to the decision in the meeting of the Committee of Secretaries held on January 10, 2014 to ensure public discussion on policies.
Keeping the same in mind the Indian Government had made a Pre-Legislative Consultation Policy in 2014 which is to be binding on the concerned Ministries and Departments. This stated that the essential elements and implications of the draft legislation may be put in the public domain for a time period of 30 days for public consumption in the manner instructed by the Department or Ministry concerned.
The current petition also seeks for inclusivity of regional languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution when publishing the draft legislation on public websites.
The petition states that it is not wise to suddenly pass laws without debate or consultation. The petition also states that according to Section 23(1) of the General Clauses Act, there needs to be a prior information on the draft for the people who would probably be affected by it.
The legislature would be the final decision maker, but, it would be beneficial if the mind of the citizens is known and taken into consideration by the representatives elected by them in the spirit of Article 14 and Article 21.