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2-min read

SC Declines Interim Relief to Disqualified Uttarakhand MLAs

The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined any interim relief to nine disqualified Uttarkhand MLAs, who have sought a stay on their disqualification and permission to participate in the assembly session, commencing from July 21 in Dehradun.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:July 20, 2016, 3:56 PM IST
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SC Declines Interim Relief to Disqualified Uttarakhand MLAs
A file image of the Supreme Court of India. (Photo Credit: PTI)
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined any interim relief to nine disqualified Uttarkhand MLAs, who have sought a stay on their disqualification and permission to participate in the assembly session, commencing from July 21 in Dehradun.

A bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and RF Nariman, however, said that the notice, given by these MLAs and BJP lawmakers, will remain alive and would be subject to the final outcome of its judgement on the petition filed by MLAs.

"We are inclined to state that if the motion that was moved by the petitioners (rebel MLAs) for removal of Speaker is taken up anytime in the Uttarakhand legislative assembly, the same shall be subject to final adjudication of the SLP and all the issues raised in the petition including the jurisdictional issue are kept open," the court said.

The bench, meanwhile, decided to prepone the hearing on the appeal filed by rebel MLAs, including Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, on July 28.

The lawmakers, in their fresh plea in the pending appeal, referred to the recent apex court judgement in the Arunachal Pradesh case in support of their petition that they cannot be disqualified by the Speaker facing resolution for removal.

The Nainital High Court had upheld the decision of the Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal to disqualify Champion and others including former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna and two sets of appeal are pending in the apex court against the disqualification.

Referring to para 175 of the landmark verdict of the Supreme Court, re-installing the Congress government in Arunachal Pradesh, the MLAs have said that Article 179 (c) of the constitution disentitles the Speaker against whom a resolution for removal is pending from disqualifying any member of the House.

The five-judge constitution bench headed by Justice JS Khehar had said, "We are satisfied, that the words 'passed by a majority of all the then members of the Assembly', would prohibit the Speaker from going ahead with disqualification proceedings under the Tenth Schedule, as the same would negate the effect of the words 'all the then members', after the disqualification of one or more MLAs from the House.

"The words "all the then members", demonstrate an expression of definiteness. Any change in the strength and composition of the Assembly, by disqualifying sitting MLAs, for the period during which the notice of resolution for the removal of the Speaker (or the Deputy Speaker) is pending, would conflict with the express mandate of Article 179(c), requiring all "the then members" to determine the right of the Speaker to continue."

Relying on this observation, the disqualified MLAs have sought setting aside of Speaker's March 27, 2016 decision to disqualify them.

Alternatively, they have sought permission to take part in the assembly session starting from July 21.

The Harish Rawat government had won the floor test ordered by the apex court on May 10 in which the rebels were barred from casting their vote.

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