MLAs’ disqualification: Supreme Court questions plea
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MLAs’ disqualification: Supreme Court questions plea

By The Hindu calender  31-Jul-2019

MLAs’ disqualification: Supreme Court questions plea

The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed strong reservations about appropriating the power conferred exclusively on the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker under the anti-defection law to conduct disqualification proceedings against Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and 10 other AIADMK MLAs for voting against the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister Edapadi Palaniswami in February 2017.
“When the Tenth Schedule [anti-defection law] of the Constitution confers the power of disqualification on the Speaker, why should the court assume this power? Why should the court assume the power of the Speaker for something which happens inside the House?” Justice S.A. Bobde asked senior advocate Kapil Sibal.
Mr. Sibal appeared for DMK leader R. Sakkarapani, who has appealed an April 2018 order of the Madras High Court. In its 57-page order, the High Court held that it cannot, merely on the basis of a writ petition under Article 226, encroach on the Speaker’s powers under the Tenth Schedule.
It reasoned that it was “difficult to conceive how this court can disqualify the concerned MLAs... Passing of such orders would only not amount to judicial overreach, it would also amount to gross breach of judicial discipline, if not contempt.”

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