Frame rules on MLA disqualification: K’taka Speaker to SC
New Delhi: Alleging that the recent political crisis in Karnataka, where MLAs were disqualified after they tendered their resignation to the then Speaker, may be replicated in other states also, the present Speaker pleaded the Supreme Court on Wednesday to frame guidelines to deal with such situations.
Without directly criticising the decision of his predecessor of disqualifying 17 MLAs, Speaker Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri told a bench of Justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari that a balance has to be maintained between an elected representative’s loyalty towards the electorate and his party.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Speaker, said the issue needed to be settled once and for all as such situations may happen anywhere in future. The bench, however, said it would not be possible for it to frame guidelines as the Speaker is a constitutional post and passing such direction would amount to judicial overreach.
Mehta contended that right of a legislator to resign is equally important as right of a Speaker to disqualify a lawmaker. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the disqualified MLAs, told the bench that the disqualification order had virtually “caged” them as they cannot contest election despite being not afraid to face the electorate. The hearing remained inconclusive and would resume on Thursday.