More than 10 months after the expulsion of MPs in the cash-for-query scam, the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on the powers of Parliament to take such an action against its erring members.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal concluded the arguments on the issue after hearing lawyers like Ram Jethmalani, T R Andhyarujina, P N Lekhi, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian and others.
Other members of the Bench included Justices K G Balakrishnan, C K Thakker, R V Raveendran and D K Jain.
While Jethmalani and Lekhi contended that the Parliament did not have the power to expell its members, Andhyarujina and Subrmanian justified the action of expulsion against 11 MPs.
Those expelled in the wake of the scam caught on camera accepting money for asking questions in the House are Lok Sabha members Y G Mahajan, Anna Patil, Suresh Chandel, Pradeep Gandhi and Chandra Pratap Singh (all BJP), Narendra Kumar Kushwaha, Raja Ram Pal and Lal Chandra Kol (all BSP), Manoj Kumar (RJD) and Ramsewak Singh (Congress).
The lone Rajya Sabha member was Chatra Pal Singh Lodha (BJP), hailing from Uttar Pradesh and elected from Orissa.
Jethmalani had contended that neither House had the jurisdiction to terminate or punish its elected members.
He had said "no House can remove a member because he has indulged in conduct outside the House which does not meet with the approval of the House".
Jethmalani's argument was supported by Lekhi.
Their arguments were countered by Centre's counsel Andhyarujina and Subramanian, appearing for Attorney General Milon Banerji, contending that House has the power to punish its erring members to maintain its dignity.