SC rejects plea seeking LoP post for Cong in LS

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 08, 2014 16:12 IST

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a PIL seeking that the Leader of Opposition (LoP) status in Lok Sabha be granted to Congress party, saying it cannot decide political issues filed under the garb of Public Interest Litigation.

Refusing to entertain the petition filed by an advocate, a bench headed by chief justice R M Lodha said "ruling of speaker in the House is not amenable to judicial review".

"Under Article 32 we are not sitting here to decide political issues," the bench said, adding, "Ruling given by Speaker in the house is not amenable to judicial review".

The bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman, pulled up the petitioner ML Sharma for filing PIL without doing proper home work.

Sharma submitted that the question of the Leader of the Opposition is to be read with the provision of the salary and allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977.

"Section 2 of the 1977 act defines the LoP of each house as the leader in that house of the party in opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength. Therefore a parson who is the leader of the greatest numerical strength is to be declared as a Leader of the Opposition," he submitted.

The Congress, after leading the UPA government for 10 years, won just 44 seats in the Lok Sabha. Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi last month told Speaker Sumitra Mahajan the Congress is not eligible for the post of Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha as it does not have the requisite strength (10% of total seats).

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has asserted that the party deserves the post because it is the single largest opposition party and also the leader of the United Progressive Alliance in Lok Sabha.

(With agency inputs)

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