SC prefers not to go into Speaker's decisions for now

SC prefers not to go into Speaker's decisions for now

Supreme Court. DH file photo

The Supreme Court on Wednesday preferred not to examine for now a crucial legal question if the Speaker should have first dealt with the resignation of rebel MLAs or proceeded to conduct the disqualification proceedings in the political crisis.

The conundrum has arisen as the rebel MLAs claimed they had resigned first while the disqualification petitions were filed subsequently by their parties. The Speaker maintained the MLAs’ move to resign has to be inquired into along with the disqualification petition. 

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which said the discretion of the Speaker should not be fettered with, noted “Constitutional principles should not receive an exhaustive enumeration by the court unless such an exercise is inevitable and unavoidable to resolve issues that may have arisen in any judicial proceeding.”

The court said the issue was whether resignations submitted by MLAs at a point of time earlier than the petitions for their disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution should have priority in decision making.

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The other issue was whether both sets of proceedings should be taken up simultaneously or disqualification proceedings should have precedence.

“These questions should receive an answer only at a later stage of the proceedings,” the bench said on a writ petition as well as impleadment applications filed by 15 rebel
MLAs for a direction to the Speaker to decide on their
resignations.

The court said as the Assembly was going to face Trust Vote on July 18, the competing claims have to be balanced by an appropriate interim order.

The court said the Speaker can decide the issue of resignation with his own discretion, but the rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the House proceedings.

It directed that as and when the Speaker passed his orders on the resignation, those should be placed before the court for proceeding further in the matter.