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SC to hear all cases of expelled MPs

The Supreme Court transferred to itself petitions filed in Delhi High Court by 10 former MPs challenging their expulsion.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 23:26 IST

The Supreme Court on Monday transferred to itself petitions filed in Delhi High Court by 10 former MPs challenging their expulsion from Parliament after being linked to the cash-for-questions scam.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice YK Sabharwal and judges CK Thakker and RV Raveendran passed the order in response to a transfer petition filed by the government, which sought the shifting of the cases to the apex court to avoid conflicting decisions.

The former MPs, nine from the Lok Sabha and one from the Rajya Sabha, had challenged their expulsion in the high court, which had posted their petitions for hearing on February 16.

Acting on a petition from another expelled MP, Rajaram Pal of the Bahujan Samaj Party, the apex court had referred the matter to a five-member Constitution bench.

On Monday, the apex court tagged the petitions filed in the high court to be heard along with Pal's petition.

The government's transfer petition said the power of both Houses of Parliament to expel their members was a substantial question of law.

It said two high courts had taken different views in the matter and there was no decision on this issue from the apex court.

It pointed out that it was also necessary to transfer the MPs' petitions to avoid multiplicity of proceedings and conflicting judgements.

After hearing Attorney General Milon K Banerjee and Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam as well as counsel for the former MPs and the Election Commission, the bench headed by Chief Justice Sabharwal directed that the matter be listed for the week commencing February 27.

At the next hearing, the apex court will consider the plea for granting interim relief - including stay of elections to the vacant Parliament seats and an injunction against the eviction of the MPs from their official residences.

The MPs said they had been served notices to vacate their residences and been told they should pay Rs.23,000 as rent if they continued to retain the Houses.

First Published: Feb 13, 2006 22:02 IST