I’m neither depressed nor overjoyed, says former Speaker Ramesh Kumar

Former Assembly Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar, who disqualified 17 MLAs in July this year, said he was “neither depressed nor overjoyed” by the Supreme Court decision on Wednesday. The apex court upheld Mr. Kumar’s order disqualifying the MLAs and set aside his order disqualifying them till the end of the term of the incumbent Assembly.

“It’s the duty of the legislature to stand up to the expectations of the people. I did not go by mere technicalities but instead gave my order in the spirit of the anti-defection law to prevent defections from wrecking our democracy — the stated objective of the law when passed in Parliament,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Kumar refused to comment on the apex court’s order. However, referring to disqualification till the end of the Assembly term being set aside, he said he was confused as to what punishment the defecting legislators were given for their offence. He also expressed confidence in the collective wisdom of the people, who had rejected turncoats in the recent bypolls across the country.

Mr. Kumar further appealed to Parliament and society at large to take up the issue of defections “debasing the morality of the polity” to completely revamp the Tenth Schedule of the constitution to ensure such defections were prevented or at least a stringent punishment was meted out to defectors. “I don’t know what is stopping Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who enjoys a comfortable majority, from implementing electoral reforms and revamping the anti-defection law,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 12:10:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/im-neither-depressed-nor-overjoyed-says-former-speaker-ramesh-kumar/article29965940.ece

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