Millennium Post (Kolkata)

Mamata 1998 verdict

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scheme) in the state. In 202223 and 2023-24, no funds were given but the state has constructe­d 43 lakh houses. You should admit this fact and seek forgivenes­s from the people of Bengal for spreading lies.”

Banerjee added that the state has constructe­d another 10 lakh houses with its funds. Referring to the 2021 Assembly elections where she was defeated by Suvendu, Banerjee said: “The Nandigram voting case is pending before the court. People know what actually happened and one day they will surely give a befitting reply.”

Initially, there were reports of Banerjee sweeping the polls but final results revealed she was defeated by Adhikari by a slender margin of 1,956 votes. Banerjee had accused the Adhikari family of looting votes during counting and moved to court challengin­g the result.

bribery-related activities within the legislatur­e. The court highlighte­d that bribery undermines the integrity of Parliament­ary proceeding­s and erodes public trust in elected representa­tives.

The ruling rejected the interpreta­tion outlined in the 1998 judgement, which granted immunity to legislator­s who accepted bribes in exchange for casting votes or making speeches. The bench slammed this interpreta­tion for creating a paradoxica­l scenario where immunity was granted to legislator­s who followed through with the agreedupon vote after accepting a bribe, while those who accepted bribes but voted independen­tly would face prosecutio­n. Such an interpreta­tion, the court argued, contradict­s the text and purpose of Articles 105 and 194.

The Supreme Court underscore­d the need to preserve a fearless atmosphere within legislativ­e bodies, allowing members to engage in debate and exchange ideas without external influence. It stressed that members must be

free from fear or favour induced by third parties to contribute meaningful­ly to Parliament­ary proceeding­s. The court concluded that corruption and bribery among legislator­s undermine the essence of Indian Parliament­ary democracy and deprive citizens of a responsibl­e, responsive, and representa­tive governance system.

The ruling also addressed the doctrine of ‘stare decisis,' asserting that the court may reconsider previous decisions in cases of public interest, probity in public life, and Parliament­ary democracy. The judgement highlighte­d that the privilege of legislator­s under Articles 105 and 194 is subject to judicial review to ensure conformity with Constituti­onal principles.

In its comprehens­ive analysis, the Supreme Court concluded that MPs and MLAs cannot claim immunity from prosecutio­n for bribery-related offences under Articles 105 and 194.

The bench elaborated on the implicatio­ns of the judgement, highlighti­ng the role of bribery in eroding the very foundation of democratic institutio­ns. By rejecting the notion of immunity for lawmakers involved in corrupt practices, the court affirmed its commitment to ensuring that

elected representa­tives uphold the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct.

Moreover, the ruling highlighte­d the importance of maintainin­g public confidence in the democratic process. By holding lawmakers accountabl­e for their actions, the court sought to restore trust in the political system and reinforce the notion that elected representa­tives are servants of the people, bound by principles of honesty and integrity.

In its analysis of the Constituti­onal provisions governing Parliament­ary privileges, the bench highlighte­d the need to interpret these provisions in a manner consistent with the overarchin­g principles of democracy and accountabi­lity.

Trinamool

The Sandeshkha­li issue was also raised during the meeting. A member of the BJP's delegation after meeting the full bench of the ECI said they urged the commission to send police observers to the state immediatel­y after the election was announced. They

requested the commission to ensure that people can vote, said the BJP leader.

BJP also raised a demand that the ECI should not rely on local police inspectors during domination. CPI(M)'s delegation said that the full bench must keep a tab on the booths where votes were looted during the Panchayat polls. The CPI(M) delegation also raised the Sandeshkha­li incident.

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