Supreme Court refuses to frame guidelines on disqualification of MPs, MLAs

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled out framing the guidelines for the Speakers of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies and chairman of the Rajya Sabha to decide the disqualification cases against MPs and MLAs for defection within a timeframe, asserting that the prayers fall in the domain of Parliament.

It, however, fixed the hearing in the matter after two weeks, with Chief Justice N V Ramana presiding over the Bench telling petitioner Ranajit Mukherjee of the Congress to first read his Karnataka judgment and then come back to the Court.

When the counsel for the petition argued that the prayer is to have the guidelines to decide the defection cases in an urgent manner, the CJI told him that the same issue was raised in the case relating to disqualification of the Karnataka MLAs, which was turned down by the court.

Two other judges on the Bench were Justices A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy.

Mukherjee had also pleaded for the Court's directions on guidelines to the Speakers to have a uniform process of decision-making in cases of defections across India.

The Chief Justice said: "I have already expressed my opinion in the Karnataka MLAs case. This issue was raised in this case also and senior advocate Kapil Sibal had advanced same argument." The court left the issue for Parliament to decide, he added.

The petition says: ""These rampant and unchecked political defections for personal or political gain, hit at the roots of the Indian democracy, and violate the fundamental rights of Indian Citizens, under Article 21 of the Constitution." It urged the court to examine mala-fide delays on the part of the Speakers of legislative assemblies while deciding issues related to political defections.

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