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Harsh or correct? Jury out on Waris suspension

On Thursday, AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan said he would request the Speaker to revoke his suspension as he had not used any derogatory word in the Assembly

mumbai Updated: Mar 18, 2016 14:12 IST
Waris Pathan,AIMIM,legal experts
Waris Pathan outside the Assembly on Wednesday.(Praful Gangurde/HT Photo)

While some legal experts feel suspending All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeem (AIMIM) MLA Waris Pathan for refusal to say Bharat mata ki jai was an extreme step, the others are of the opinion the Assembly was only exercising its power, which can’t be challenged in a court of law.

Pathan, one of the two MLAs of AIMIM, was suspended from the lower house on Wednesday. It was alleged that he had used a derogatory word in the House. On Thursday, Pathan said he would request the Speaker to revoke his suspension as he had not used any derogatory word in the Assembly.

Soli Sorabjee, a former attorney general of India, said, “Pathan’s grievance was he can’t be compelled to say something. If the legislator is saying something like Jai Hind, it means he is not anti-national. I don’t think suspending him was correct.”

Attacking AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi for refusing to say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ at a public rally in Latur, lawyer Majid Memon said it was a non-issue.

According to a senior officer from the state law and judiciary department, the SC, in its verdict on January 10, 2007, said Parliament has the power to expel erring MPs. The order of the apex court had come in the famous cash for question scam, in which 11 MPs from both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were caught on camera accepting money for asking questions in the House.

Dr Anant Kalse, principal secretary, state legislature, said it was a historic judgment that made it clear the decision taken by Parliament and the state legislature in such cases can’t be challenged in any court of law.

Pathan said the very argument of terming a person patriotic just because he utters these words is illogical, apart from being unconstitutional. “I will petition the Assembly speaker to revoke my sentence as I have not uttered anything derogatory. ,” said Pathan.

“My problem is they were forcing me. I don’t need anyone’s certificate as I love my country like any other Indian,” said Pathan.

Imtiyaz Jaleel, another AIMIM MLA from Aurangabad, said, “We will wait for the speaker’s action, as we will ask to him to check video footage. If they find any derogatory remarks made by any of us, as being claimed, they can suspend both of us for the entire term.”

First Published: Mar 18, 2016 01:12 IST