Mumbai: Delegation of Maharashtra Legislature Presiding Officers urge President to instruct SC for judicial review of its order quashing suspension of 12 BJP MLAs

These legislators, who were suspended in the monsoon session held in July last year for the period of one year for the alleged unruly behaviour in the state assembly, had challenged the suspension in the apex court.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Friday, February 11, 2022, 08:38 PM IST
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Mumbai: Delegation of Maharashtra Legislature Presiding Officers urge President to instruct SC for judicial review of its order quashing suspension of 12 BJP MLAs | FPJ

In a rare move, a delegation led by the Maharashtra Legislative Council Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar comprising deputy chairperson of the upper house Neelam Gorhe and the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Narahari Zirwal met the President of India Ramnath Kovind and urged him to exercise his powers under Article 143 of the Constitution and request the Supreme Court for the judicial review of its order quashing the suspension of 12 BJP legislators.

These legislators, who were suspended in the monsoon session held in July last year for the period of one year for the alleged unruly behaviour in the state assembly, had challenged the suspension in the apex court.

In its strongly worded representation, Nimbalkar led the delegation said, ‘’ The Supreme Court judgement delivered on January 28, 2022 cuts short the powers and privileges of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, Maharashtra Legislative Council as well as both the Houses of Parliament with regard to regulate the procedures and business. As a consequence of curtailment caused in the aforementioned penal powers, conducting the business of the House may well become a challenge in itself from a practical point of view.’’

‘’Another consequence is the curtailment culminates into a limitation of Presiding Officers’ powers to maintain decorum in the Houses. This is not only akin to re-drafting of the Constitutional provisions but also tantamount to committing an act which is clearly disallowed by the Makers of the Constitution,’’ said the delegation.

The delegation recalled that every house of the Legislature enjoys certain penal powers conferred upon itself for the purpose of conducting its business smoothly and it is a well-settled tenet of the Parliamentary system that the said penal powers are plenary in nature. ‘’However, the aforementioned judgement appears to create an impression of having endeavoured to curtail the capacity of Legislative Houses to employ such penal powers. Also, the judgement adopts a stand which is contrary to the prohibition laid down by Article 212 of the Constitution against enquiring into the procedures and conduct of business which happen to be internal matters of the Legislative Houses,’’ said the delegation in its representation.

The delegation at the outset made it clear that they hold the Supreme Court in the highest possible esteem. ‘’Yet, we are compelled to submit with utmost humbleness that the judgement does not sit well with the provisions of Articles 190, 194 and 212 of the Constitution. We, in our modest capacity, also feel that the judgement also distances itself from the basic structure of the Constitution as laid down in the matter of Keshavanand Bharati vs Kerala Govt. We beg to state that the judgement has overstepped the well-defined confines marked by the Constitution between the Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature,’’ it said.

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