The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed West Bengal assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee to inform it by October 7 his decision on a petition filed for disqualification of Mukul Roy as a member of the House on the claim that he has defected to the Trinamool Congress after being elected on a BJP ticket. Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari had on June 17 filed a petition before the Speaker seeking disqualification of Roy as a member of the Assembly, claiming that he had defected to the TMC.
Ambika Roy, a BJP MLA of the state, moved the high court in July challenging Mukul Roy’s election as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and prayed for nomination of an opposition member to the post as per tradition.
A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj said in its order that the issue pertaining to disqualification of Roy as a member of the assembly is correlated with him being the chairman of the PAC. The bench said a petition filed for Roy’s disqualification is pending before the Speaker for more than three months, the maximum period fixed in a judgement of the Supreme Court, for decision thereof. “Before we proceed further in the matter let the respondent No. 1 (the Speaker) place before us the order passed in the petition filed for disqualification of respondent No. 2 (Mukul Roy) as Member of the Legislative Assembly,” the bench said in its order.
The bench adjourned the matter to October 7 for further hearing, stating, “In case of failure this Court will decide further course of action to be taken in the matter.” .