SC on Monday refused to grant an interim stay to three Jharkhand MLAs, who are facing disqualification notice from the state Assembly Speaker.
A bench comprising Justices KG Balakrishnan and DK Jain, while adjourning the hearing till September 14, refused to grant any interim relief to the three petitioners namely Stephen Marandi, Anos Ekka and Kamlesh Kumar Singh who have resigned from the Arjun Munda-led government reducing it to a minority.
Earlier senior cousel KK Venugopal, appearing for the petitioners, contended that his clients must be allowed to participate in the floor test which is to be held on or before September 15 in the Jharkhand Assembly.
Venugopal also contended that disqualification proceedings should have been initiated by the EC and not by Jharkhand Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari who is a member of the ruling party.
When the court asked whether it can pass an order on assumption that the Speaker would disqualify all three, Venugopal responded by saying that in case the three MLAs are not allowed to participate in the floor test then both NDA and UPA have a strength of 38 each in the Assembly and by the casting vote of the Speaker, Munda may continue as the Chief Minister which is a fraud on the Constitution.
Senior Counsel Soli Sorabjee, appearing for Namdhari, however contended that the petitioner instead of filing their response to the showcause notice issued by the Speaker have rushed to this court and are trying to convert into an election tribunal.
When the court wanted to know whether they have sought time from the Speaker, counsel for the petitioner responded by saying that this morning the MLAs have filed an application before the Speaker for extension of time for reply. The Speaker did not pass any order on the application and later told reporters that he was awaiting the Supreme Court's order.
The Speaker has given time till 11.30 am tomorrow to the three MLAs and may announce his decision before the floor test takes place.
Governor Syed Sibtey Razi has given time till September 15 to Chief Minister Arjun Munda to prove his majority and he is planning to seek the confidence vote on September 14.