Home HOME Himachal Pradesh Rebel MLAs' Case In Supreme Court On Tuesday

Himachal Pradesh Rebel MLAs' Case In Supreme Court On Tuesday

Himachal Pradesh Rebel MLAs' Case In Supreme Court On Tuesday


Himachal Pradesh Rebel MLAs' Case In Supreme Court On Tuesday

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court will hear a petition by six rebel Congress MLAs of Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday. The MLAs — who cross-voted in the recent Rajya Sabha polls in Himachal Pradesh — had challenged their disqualification by the Speaker. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna, Dipankar Datta and Prashant Kumar Mishra will hear the plea.

On February 29, Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania had disqualified them for “defying” the Congress whip that required them to be present in the House and vote for the budget.

The rebels had voted in favour of BJP nominee Harsh Mahajan in the Rajya Sabha election on February 27. Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi had lost the Rajya Sabha election owing to the cross-voting.

The disqualified MLAs are Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Inder Dutt Lakhanpal, Devinder Kumar Bhutoo, Ravi Thakur and Chetanya Sharma.

Following their disqualification, the effective strength of the Himachal Pradesh assembly has slid from 68 to 62, while the number of Congress MLAs has shrunk from 40 to 34.

In their petition, the rebel MLAs have alleged violation of the principle of natural justice, claiming they did not get adequate opportunity to respond to the disqualification petition.

This was the first time in Himachal Pradesh, an MLA was disqualified under the anti-defection law aimed at checking defections.

Announcing the disqualification of the six MLAs on February 29, the Speaker said they attracted disqualification under the anti-defection law as they defied the party whip. He ruled that they ceased to be members of the House with immediate effect.

The petition seeking their disqualification was filed by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister.
Senior advocate Satya Pal Jain, who appeared for the rebel Congress MLAs, had argued that they were only given the show-cause notice and not the copy of the petition or the annexure. He also pointed out that seven days were mandatorily allowed for replying to the notice but no time was given to them.

Under the anti-defection law, any elected member who gives up the membership of a political party voluntarily or votes or abstains from voting in the House, contrary to any direction issued by his political party, is liable for disqualification.

The rebel MLAs had signed the attendance register but abstained from voting on the Budget, the Speaker said. They were issued notices for defying the whip through WhatsApp and e-mail and were asked to appear for the hearing.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


Source link