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M'rashtra assembly ignores SC notice on Sethi case

'Both the pillars of the democracy should not intervene each others area of functioning', says the Speaker, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 20:39 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra

In what could be interpreted a stand off between the legislative powers and the judiciary. The Maharashtra Assembly on Friday unanimously decided not to take any cognisance of the Supreme Court where the leader of state Bar Owners' Association, Manjit Singh Sethi had challenged the punishment of the state assembly.

The Assembly Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar had sentenced Sethi to 90 days imprisonment in December last during the last winter session of the House for his statement, "We would not allow ministers' wives to move around if dance bars were banned."

Sethi allegedly issued the threat when the dance-bar ban was being mooted by the state home department. After a breach of privilege motion was moved against Sethi in the House, the Speaker referred it to the privilege committee.

Sethi was sentenced to the imprisonment as per the recommendations of the house committee.

However, Sethi had challenged the action before the Bombay High Court and sought a stay which was rejected. Later, he moved to the Apex Court that had granted him a stay.

The issue was brought before the House by the Speaker here on Friday.

Kupekar said that he had a talk with leaders of all the political parties on the issue and came to the conclusion that if any notice comes from the Supreme Court in this regard, he would ignore it. "Both the pillars of the democracy should not intervene each others area of functioning," he pointed out.

The Speaker continued, "I have not received any notice from the Supreme Court. If I get notice on it, I will not reply to the notice," he made it clear which unanimously endorsed by both the benches of the House.

A resolution was also adopted accordingly. When the BJP member, Girish Bapat pointed out that the stand of the House should be conveyed to the Apex Court, the Speaker said that the state was enough competent to explain it as Sethi also made the state government as one of the parties, along with the Speaker of the House.

First Published: Dec 15, 2006 20:39 IST