SC declines interim relief to disqualified MLAs of Uttarakhand

The bench, meanwhile, decided to prepone the hearing on the appeal filed by rebel MLAs, including Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion, on July 28.

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:29 am IST

Published - July 20, 2016 04:10 pm IST - New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the disqualification of nine rebel Congress MLAs in the Uttarakhand, including the former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, on the eve of the beginning of the Assembly session on July 21.

The court also refused to discuss the Constitutionality of the decision taken by Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal to disqualify the nine MLAs when a motion for his own removal was pending in the House.

A Bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Rohinton Nariman said that in case the motion to remove Mr. Kunjwal is taken up during the Assembly session starting on July 21, the implementation of the House's decision would be kept on hold till the Supreme Court pronounces a final judgment on the rebel MLAs' petition challenging the Speaker's action to disqualify them.

The rebels, who have now joined the BJP, have based their petition against the Speaker's disqualification on the recent Constitution Bench judgment in the Arunachal Pradesh case. A five-judge Bench led by Justice J.S. Khehar had held that a Speaker, facing motion for removal, cannot disqualify lawmakers who are part of the motion.

Referring to the landmark verdict, senior advocate C.A. Sundaram, appearing for the rebel MLAs, submitted that Article 179 (c) of the Constitution refrains a Speaker, facing a motion of removal, from changing the composition of the House by disqualifying MLAs and rendering them unable to vote on the motion.

But senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Mr. Kunjwal, objected to Mr. Sundaram's submissions. He submitted that a Speaker's constitutional power to adjudicate under the Tenth Schedule cannot be taken away by moral compulsions and mere apprehension of abuse.

Mr. Sibal said the former Arunachal Pradesh Speaker Nabam Rebia has already filed a review petition challenging the restraint placed on the Speaker while using his powers under the Tenth Schedule.

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