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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Judicial interference erodes Speaker’s stature

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 28, 2013
First Published: 02:34 IST(28/8/2013) | Last Updated: 02:59 IST(28/8/2013)

The interference by the judiciary in matters of disqualification of MPs/MLAs is undermining the authority of Speakers and chairpersons of Parliament and legislative assemblies, according to a parliamentary panel.

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The parliamentary standing committee on law and justice, in its latest report on electoral reforms has asked the government to file a review against the SC judgement earlier this year that even non-MPs/MLAs can file disqualification petitions before respective presiding officers of any House.

“The interference of judiciary into the domain of Speaker and chairman of legislatures on the issues of disqualification of members has nullified certain rules framed under the relevant Constitution provisions by the presiding officers,” states the report.

Panel chairman and Congress MP Shantaram Naik said the “judicial interpretation” of the Constitution has impinged upon powers of presiding officers.

The parliamentary panel had disagreed with the SC judgement delivered on January 17 this year by a three judge bench headed by the former chief justice Altamas Kabir on the issue of whether non-members can seek the disqualification of MPs/MLAs.

The SC upheld the decision of the Orissa high court that the state president of the Nationalist Congress Party, whose all four MLAs defected to the ruling Biju Janata Dal, despite not being an MLA himself, had the right to seek disqualification of these members by filing a petition before the assembly Speaker.

The parliamentary panel, however, is of the view that according to the law, the speaker is the final authority to decide the issue of “locus standi.”


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