MLAs can't challenge suspension citing right to work, says SC

MLAs can't challenge suspension citing right to work, says SC

A legislator cannot question his suspension for some misconduct in the House on the ground of violation of his fundamental right to practice occupation as guaranteed under the Constitution, the Supreme Court has held.

Likewise, the court also ruled suspension from Assembly of an MLA cannot be challenged on violation of his fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) since this is regulated as per procedural rules prescribed under Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution.

The term “occupation” used in Article 19 (1) (g) of the Constitution is “limited by the economic imperative of livelihood generation”. The constitutional office of a legislator, on the other hand, is not a paid job. It is a “component in the larger machinery established to make possible for the people of this country to realise the goals indicated in the Preamble of the Constitution,” a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Abhay M Sapre, said.

The apex court rejected the arguments made by six DMDK MLAs of the Tamil Nadu Assembly that their suspension was a violation of their fundamental right to occupation.

“Constitutional offices commencing from the office of the President of India are meant for and established for securing the goals adumbrated in the preamble to the Constitution. Any monetary benefit incidental to the holding of such offices is only to compensate for the time and energy expended by the holder of the office in the service of the nation,” Justice Chelameswar wrote on behalf of the bench.

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