Disqualification of MLAs: SC asks Parliament to rethink Speaker’s powers

Apex court suggests devising independent mechanism to deal with disqualification pleas against lawmakers

A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said that it will issue the notice to the state government and others, including the secretary of the legislative assembly, for tomorrow at 10.30 am. Photo: PTI

A Congress lawmaker’s defection to BJP in Manipur has led to the Supreme Court asking the Parliament to think about Speaker’s power in deciding petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers.

Observing that the Speaker too belongs to a political party, the court suggested devising an independent mechanism to deal with disqualification pleas against lawmakers.

The apex court asked the Manipur Assembly Speaker to decide within four weeks the plea of a Congress leader seeking disqualification of BJP lawmaker and Manipur Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar.

A bench headed by Justice RF Nariman had granted liberty to Congress MLA Fajur Rahim and K Meghachandra to approach it again if the Assembly Speaker fails to take a decision within four weeks on their plea seeking disqualification of the BJP minister.

The BJP minister had won the assembly election on a Congress ticket and later joined the BJP and became a minister. This led to the filing of the plea seeking his disqualification.

(With agency inputs)

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