The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the Punjab and Haryana high court order, disqualifying five MLAs who defected from Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) to join the Congress after the 2009 assembly elections.
The HC had restrained them from joining the Congress until the Haryana assembly speaker took a decision on their disqualification petition.
Acting on an appeal filed by the Haryana assembly speaker, a bench of justices Altamas Kabir and SS Nijjar stayed implementation of the December 20, 2011 HC judgement. The speaker has challenged the verdict on the ground that it amounted to judicial interference in the functioning of the assembly.
Attorney general GE Vahanvati, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the HC direction “ex facie suffered lack of jurisdiction and non-application of mind to the settled law.” He also requested the bench to expunge the strictures passed by the HC against the speaker.
While staying the direction, SC also sought responses of the Election Commission of India and HJC leader Kuldeep Bishnoi on whose petition the HC had passed its order. Bishnoi had moved court questioning the Haryana assembly speaker’s decision to treat the alleged defection by five of his party MLAs as merger of his entire party with the ruling Congress party.