AG’s ar­gu­ment on MLAs not un­der anti-de­fec­tion law ‘pre­pos­ter­ous’: SC

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

In an im­por­tant ob­ser­va­tion dur­ing the night-long hear­ing on the pe­ti­tion filed by Con­gress and JD(S), the SC said it would be “pre­pos­ter­ous” to ar­gue that MLAs, be­fore tak­ing oath, would not fall foul of the anti-de­fec­tion law if they de­fied their party’s whip, re­ports Dhanan­jay Ma­ha­p­a­tra.

This was the re­sponse from the bench of Jus­tices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan when at­tor­ney gen­eral KK Venu­gopal ar­gued that the SC must not en­ter the “politi- cal thicket” of who was in­vited to form gov­ern­ment and which MLA ex­tended sup­port to which party dur­ing a floor test. He said whether an MLA prior to tak­ing oath was amenable to dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion un­der the anti-de­fec­tion law was a grey area.

“It is pre­pos­ter­ous to ar­gue that be­fore the MLAs take oath, they are not amenable to the anti-de­fec­tion law. This means it would be an open in­vi­ta­tion for any­one to in­dulge in horse trad­ing prior to MLAs tak­ing oath,” the bench said.

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