Deputy Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Narhari Zirwal, on Friday asked the legislature secretary not to respond to the Supreme Court's notice on the plea filed by 12 BJP MLAs challenging their one-year suspension.
The 12 legislators were suspended on July 5 this year after they allegedly misbehaved with presiding officer Bhaskar Jadhav in the Speaker's chamber.
Zirwal directed the government to apprise the apex court of the developments that led to the suspension of these BJP members.
BJP leader Sudhir Mungantiwar wondered how the government can hold speaker's election by keeping 12 voters suspended.
Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said the 12 legislators have applied to the speaker's office requesting their suspension be reconsidered.
"I hope their suspension is revoked before the speaker's election next week," he said.
Zirwal said that the SC notice was received by the legislature secretariat on December 21.
The 12 suspended members are Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Parag Alavani, Harish Pimpale, Yogesh Sagar, Jay Kumar Rawal, Narayan Kuche, Ram Satpute and Bunty Bhangdia.
On December 14, the Supreme Court had sought responses from the Maharashtra legislative assembly and the state government on the pleas filed by these MLAs, who have challenged their one-year suspension. The apex court had observed that the issues raised in the matter and arguments advanced by the advocates appearing for the petitioners as well as the state are "debatable" and "require deeper consideration".
Talking to PTI, former principal secretary of the Maharashtra legislature, Anant Kalse, said the decision of not accepting any notice from the Supreme Court or high courts had been taken during a conference in 2007 that was chaired by the then Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee.
As per Article 212 of the Constitution, courts shall not inquire into the proceedings of the legislature and the validity of any proceedings in the legislature of a state shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure, he said.
The Article also mentions that no officer or member of the legislature, in whom powers are vested by or under constitution, for regulating procedure or conduct of business or for maintaining order in the legislature, shall be subject to jurisdiction of any court, he said.
Last year, both the Houses of the Maharashtra legislature had passed resolutions that the presiding officers will not respond to any notice or summons issued by the Supreme Court in the privilege case against Republic Media Network's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
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