Speaker back in focus
VIDHAN SABHA Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey today ruled that the BSP legislators, who had defected from the party to form the Loktantrik Bahujan Dal (LBD) in September 2003, would continue to be members of the House with their existing seating arrangement till he disposed of the case in the light of the split High Court judgment.india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 11:51 IST
VIDHAN SABHA Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey today ruled that the BSP legislators, who had defected from the party to form the Loktantrik Bahujan Dal (LBD) in September 2003, would continue to be members of the House with their existing seating arrangement till he disposed of the case in the light of the split High Court judgment.
The Speaker said that it was an interim order and he would give a final verdict only after hearing all the parties on the two pending applications of the MLAs for recognition of the LBD and its merger with the Samajwadi Party.
He clarified that the interim arrangement had been made for smooth functioning of the House and it should not be, in any manner, considered or treated as recognition to the LBD or its subsequent merger with the Samajwadi Party.
It was noteworthy, he said, that the order of the then Speaker on the two applications had been quashed by the court and not the applications, with a directive to him to reconsider the two applications and take a decision as per the law. As such, the Speaker observed, the two applications had been revived and he would give his verdict on the same.
After this directive of the Speaker, the situation today is the same which was soon after the split in September 2003 as the court has only quashed the then Speaker’s judgment on the two applications and not the applications which obviously stand revived.
Talking to reporters late on Wednesday night, Mata Prasad said, however, that it would take some time to hear both the parties as a detailed procedure of inviting objections had to be followed and he was not in a position to tell the exact time by which he would be able to dispose of the case.
Replying to a question on the status of the ministers/ legislators of the LBD, who met the Governor and submitted their resignations announcing their allegiance to the BSP once again, Mata Prasad said that provisions of the Anti-Defection Law might be invoked against them, if anybody filed a petition before him.
Meanwhile, a debate is on in political and legal circles whether the Speaker can give a decision now on the basis of a law which ceased to exist in January 2004.
Para three of the Anti-Defection Law dealing with ‘split’ in political parties was deleted on January 1, 2004, by Parliament through the Constitution (91st) Amendment and now there was provision of only ‘merger’ with two- third majority in the Anti-Defection Law.
Now the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has directed the Speaker to decide on ‘split’ in the BSP but the question is whether the Speaker will go by the existing provisions or the earlier provisions which ceased to exist in January 2004.