The Supreme Court on Thursday brushed aside arguments that the actions of the Speaker of a legislature are above judicial scrutiny.
Such a proposition was not possible as the Speaker cannot be considered to be absolutely impartial, since he does not sever his relationship with the political party on whose ticket he was elected to the House, a five-member Constitution Bench said. “Unlike in other countries, a legislator, after being elected Speaker, does not resign from the party from which he was elected to the House, so the argument cannot be sustained.”
The Bench’s observations came during the marathon hearing of arguments on the constitutional validity of the split engineered by 37 MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh to facilitate Mulayam Singh Yadav to form a government in August 2003. Senior counsel Ashok Desai, appearing for the state government, argued that the Speaker was held in high esteem and hence, his actions could not be questioned in any court.