The Speaker of the legislative Assembly, Dilip Walse Patil, on Tuesday said he would not interfere in the legal process to get independent legislator, Vivek Pandit, who is in judicial custody for 15 days, to participate in Assembly proceedings.
Walse Patil gave his ruling following demands of the Opposition to free Pandit from judicial custody.
Peasants and Workers Party legislator, Ganpatrao Deshmukh, had on Monday said that the Speaker should intervene and ask the government to allow Pandit to participate in the session.
Pandit, a legislator from Vasai, was arrested on Saturday for organising a road blockade and protests against the inclusion of 18 villages in the Vasai-Virar municipal corporation.
The Speaker ruled that the privilege of freedom from arrest is applicable only in civil cases and not in criminal cases. Walse Patil also asked for statements from the police officers, who had arrested Pandit.
“There is no precedent that allows or calls for the Speaker or the assembly to intervene in a criminal case,’’ Walse Patil said.
He said a member cannot be arrested during the session, and 40 days before and after the session. But, this special privilege is applicable only in civil cases, he added.
Home Minister, R.R. Patil, had clarified on Monday that Pandit had been given the option to seek bail, but he had refused.