UP Vidhan Sabha speaker dismisses pleas to disqualify two Cong MLAsUpdated: Jul 14, 2020 17:43 IST
In a major relief to rebel Congress MLAs Aditi Singh and Rakesh Singh, Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit on Monday rejected the Congress petition seeking their disqualification from UP assembly. The speaker dismissed the petitions against both the lawmakers saying they did not attract provisions of 10th schedule of Constitution of India and thus “lacked substance.”
“After scrutinizing all the documents in the light of Supreme Court’s orders, I am of the view that Rae Bareli (Sadar) MLA Aditi Singh does not attract provisions of 10th schedule of the Constitution of India and hence cannot be disqualified for defection. The petition seeking her disqualification is therefore rejected for lacking force,” said Speaker in his 45-page order dated July 13, 2020.
The Congress has seven members in the state assembly and much signification was being attached to the petitions seeking disqualification of two MLAs as they represented assembly segments of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s Rae Bareli Lok Sabha seat.
Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra had filed a petition on November 26, 2020 seeking Singh’s disqualification for attending special session of the state legislature convened on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to discuss the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on October 2, 2019. Singh while attending the special session in defiance of the whip had allegedly praised chief minister Yogi Adityanath in the house.
In his order, speaker did not accept the Congress contention that by attending the special session, the Congress MLA had voluntarily given up her membership and said public representative was expected to put up point about development of the constituency and restriction of freedom expression of public representatives was not in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. He quoted the Supreme Court’s orders to make his point that only such issues could be brought under provisions of the 10th schedule of the Constitution that may be related to policies of a political party or that may decide the confidence in a government. Any observations about SDGs or Mahatama Gandhi’s birth anniversary did not attract the provisions of 10th schedule, he said.
Speaker further observed that the whip issued by the then Congress Legislature Party leader Ajay Kumar Lallu on October 2, 2019 was not in accordance with the conditions laid down by the Supreme Court of India in Kihota Hollohan case (AIR 1993 SCC111). SC’s order quoted by the speaker reads “it would be appropriate that the direction or whip which results in such disqualification under paragraph 2(1)(b) is so worded as to clearly indicate that voting or abstaining from voting contrary to the said direction would result incurring the disqualification under paragraph 2 (1) (b) of the Tenth Schedule of so that the member concerned has knowledge of the consequences flowing from his conduct in voting or abstaining from voting contrary to such a direction.”
Speaker said analysis of the facts mentioned in the SC verdict make it clear that the opponent (Aditi) could not be disqualified for attending special session of the house. He, however, rejected Aditi’s contention that the petition has been filed by the Indian National Congress that was a political party and not a person and thus was not in accordance with rules of the house. He quoted budget session and Covid-19 as valid reasons for turning down the petitioner’s plea that Aditi’s reply should not be placed on record in view of the delay. Speaker observed that the petition should have been filed under provisions of para 2 (1) (b) of the 10th schedule instead of para 2 (1) (A) of the 10th scheduled of the Constitution of India.
On the other hand, the petition seeking disqualification of Rakesh Singh was filed alleging that the legislator worked for the BJP by attending BJP rallies and worked for the saffron party before and after filing of nomination for Lok Sabha election by his brother Dinesh Singh as a BJP candidate on April 15, 2019. Rejecting petition seeking disqualification of Rakesh Singh he observed that the points made by petitioner did not support the contention that the Congress MLA had voluntarily given up membership of the house. Dikshit said photographs given by the petitioner did not establish that the MLA’s vehicle was being used for BJP’s campaigning. He said photographs also did not prove that the MLA was working for the BJP on the day of polling for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Congress to file appeal
Lucknow: The Congress has decided to file an appeal against Speaker Hridaya Narain Dishit’s order rejecting party’s petitions seeking disqualification of two Rae Bareli MLAs Aditi Singh and Rakesh Singh.
“Yes, we will file an appeal against the Speaker’s order that was undemocratic. Speaker is a member of the BJP and has apparently given his order under government’s pressure,” said Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Ajay Kumar Lallu. “We are exploring all options and an appeal will be filed soon,” said Lallu.
Congress to file appeal in HC
The Congress has decided to file an appeal against Speaker Hridaya Narain Dishit’s order rejecting party’s petitions seeking disqualification of two Rae Bareli MLAs Aditi Singh and Rakesh Singh in Allahabad High Court.
“Yes, we will file an appeal against the Speaker’s order that was undemocratic. Speaker is a member of the BJP and has apparently given his order under government’s pressure,” said Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Ajay Kumar Lallu. “We are exploring all options and an appeal at Allahabad HC will be filed soon,” said Lallu.