Yechury springs legal point New Delhi, Nov. 27: The CPM today claimed the government was legally bound to have its decision on allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail ratified by Parliament and urged the Centre to agree on a discussion under a rule that entails voting. Party MP Sitaram Yechury said according to Section 48 of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, amendments to permit FDI in the sector have to be endorsed by Parliament within a time frame. â€œThe convention is that the amendments should be placed before the 15th sitting of the first session after the amendments are made and it has to be disposed of within 30 sittings. When it comes before both the Houses (of Parliament), members can move amendments and ask for voting, and it has to be carried out,â€ he said. Given the provisions on the time frame, however, the government can well take up the issue in the next session â€” the budget session â€” as the winter session will be over before the 30th sitting. The time frame of 15 sittings to table the amendments expires on December 13, seven days before the winter session ends. Yechury, however, brought up the legal provisions to tell the government that its effort to prevent a vote would prove futile. â€œThe government should thereby agree for a discussion under Rule 184 and allow Parliament to function. We will raise this issue in the House,â€ he said. He alleged that the government was busy mustering numbers but acknowledged that, after the stand taken by the DMK and Trinamul, the Centre appeared to have managed the numbers. At an all-party meeting yesterday, Trinamul said the Speaker should decide the rule under which a discussion should take place. Ally DMK today agreed to vote with the government. Yechury said the Supreme Court had recently observed that the amendments could not come into effect unless the relevant sections of Fema were amended by Parliament. â€œThe government should thereby not try to block the issue and allow Parliament to give its verdict over the issue,â€ he said. Yechury springs legal point *********************************** Yechury seems to have a point. Notwithstanding, there have been interesting developments: 1. Initially, the Govt strode the moral point that an Executive Order cannot be debate in Parliament. 2. The Govt was clear that in case the political parties felt that the Govt was in the wrong, then they should have the guts to bring a No Confidence Motion. They claimed that after all, the desire to defeat the Govt in a vote on the FDI would give no answer and instead a No Confidence Motion was the only way to show that the Govt was in the wrong. Of course, the UPA knew that even those parties which were against the FDI, would not like to face elections at this juncture. And that is why none supported the TMC's No Trust Motion. 3. Then the Govt acquiesced that the Govt was amenable for a debate, but no voting and stood that ground very vociferously and with all tenacity. 4. Then with a whole lot of confabulation and backdoor activities, they got political parties on board to get the requisite numbers. 5. Now the UPA claims that it will allow a vote on the FDI and the PM has shown confidence that he has the numbers. 6. The DMK which supported the Bandh against the FDI has now agreed to support the Govt on FDI since they do not want communal parties to win! The interesting conclusions one draws from this drama is that the political fabric of the country is totally without any morality or principle. One cannot understand what was the grandstanding about Executive Order cannot be debated in Parliament about? If it cannot be debated then why whittle down from that high moral stand to allowing debate but no voting. And then why one got the numbers, thorough fair and foul means (one does not know what changed the earlier strong stands of those opposing the FDI and hence the means that caused the change of heart is not known) to ensure that the Govt is not embarrassed, again grandstand that it will allow voting. If the position that an Executive Order cannot be debated in Parliament was such a Holy Cow, then why allow it in the first place? Why whittle down from that position by successive compromise to finally allow voting? It show total political immorality or a total lack of knowledge of the manner how a Parliamentary democracy works. In fact, the Govt's whittling down successively has confused many who have very little idea of how a Parliamentary democracy works. And the topping of the cake is the best - DMK which is vigorously against the FDI will support FDI because it does not want communal parties to win. This has confused me and it suggests that the economy of the Nation is not based on sound economic reasons, but in secular and communal parameters. Could someone explain what is a communal FDI and what is a secular FDI?