No strictures on Bopaiah: BJP

Speaker is a quasi-judicial authority whose orders can be reviewed by higher courts

Opposition leaders have been highlighting the caustic observations made by the Supreme Court on the way the Speaker conducted the disqualification proceedings against 16 members, while setting aside the disqualification order.

But the Speaker has categorically said he will not resign. The BJP too has strongly defended Bopaiah. The party leaders are arguing that the Speaker conducted the proceedings as a quasi-judicial authority.

Orders passed by a quasi-judicial authority can always be reviewed by the higher courts. If the higher court takes a different view on an issue, it does not mean that authority that passed the earlier order should be punished, the BJP leaders argue.

Disqualification proceedings

Soon after Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa filed a petition seeking disqualification of 13 BJP rebel MLAs, on October 7, 2010, the Speaker issued show-cause notices to the MLAs and asked them to reply by October 10.

Of the 13 MLAs, 11 of them filed their interim reply to the petition on October 9.

Two other rebel MLAs announced that they will support the Government, and proceedings against them were dropped. A separate petition was filed against five Independents, who had also withdrawn their support. The Governor had directed the Chief Minister to prove majority on the floor of the House by October 12.

In their reply, the MLAs disputed the disqualification petition on two grounds.

First, the petition did not attract penal provisions of Tenth Schedule of the Constitution as they withdrew the support to the Yeddyurappa Government in the interest of the State and that they were disillusioned with the functioning of the Government.

Second, the Speaker did not give seven days time to reply to the notice, thus amounting to violation of the rule 7(b) of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly (Disqualification of Members on Ground of Defection) rules, 1986.

As per the Gazette notification of the Speaker’s order dated October 11, 2010, Bopaiah stated that letters submitted by the MLAs to the Governor withdrawing their support to the Government implied quitting the BJP voluntarily.

Media reports of the MLAs associating with JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy only corroborated this point, and hence their action attracted the penal provisions of the anti-defection law.

On not giving seven days time, the Speaker had said the objection is only technical in nature, and it cannot be accepted. The disqualification rules are only directory in nature and not binding on him to follow, he added.

‘SC hasn’t passed strictures’

Senior advocate and KSIIDC Chairman K Diwakar has claimed that the Supreme Court has not passed strictures against the Speaker as the Opposition parties have contended. As per the judicial dictionary, stricture means adverse reference or remarks.

Nowhere in the judgement copy has the SC made any adverse remarks on the Speaker, he claimed.

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