U.P. Legislature, Judiciary heading for a showdown

LUCKNOW, MARCH 24. The Uttar Pradesh Legislature and Judiciary seem to be heading for a showdown.

The U.P. Legislative Council Chairman, Sukhram Singh Yadav, today said he would approach the President over the "interference of the Judiciary".

The Judiciary should avoid interfering with matters of the Legislature, Mr. Yadav said adding he agreed with the observations of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on the issue.

Mr. Yadav is also expected to meet the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, shortly and request for a meeting of the Legislature, Judiciary and the Executive to ensure the three acknowledged each others' "garima" (dignity).

He said the Judiciary and the Legislature were "like siblings" and both should respect each other.

The State Assembly Speaker, Mata Prasad Pandey, yesterday took a tough stance over the recent observation of the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on the non-issue of notices to 40 former BSP members. The Allahabad High Court in its comment had reportedly said, "as regards the non-receipt of response from the Legislative Assembly principal secretary, we would only comment that the officer lacks `officer like' qualities."

In his statement, Mr. Pandey had said, "I have asked the principal secretary not to take any further action on the issue under rule 160 of the procedure of the Vidhan Sabha."

The court made this comment on writ petition number 5085 (MB)/203 Swami Prasad Maurya versus Vidhan Sabha Speaker, in which High Court deputy registrar had asked the Vidhan Sabha secretariat to comply with its summons.

Sources claimed Mr. Pandey had discussed the matter with Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee before issuing the statement.

Mr. Chatterjee had already held a meeting of State Assembly Speakers following his objection to the Supreme Court ruling over the recent Jharkhand episode.

Mr. Pandey referred to the High Court letters dated September 22, 1953 and February 20, 1968 along with general rules civil and general rules criminal urging the judicial officers not to make compliance of summons of MLAs and MPs when they were taking part in proceedings of the House.

It further said the summons should not be served through presiding officers of the respective Houses of Secretariat.

The Speaker said Additional Secretary Law had from time to time asked registrar general Allahabad High Court not to serve any judicial orders through the Secretariat of the Vidhan Sabha.

The U.P. BJP President and former Assembly Speaker, Kesrinath Tripathi, had also said the matter of rebel BSP MLAs was in court and if the verdict went against him, he would consider moving court.

He said, "As the then Speaker, the decision taken by me for the BSP MLAs was correct" and claimed there were no elaborate details in the Constitution on matters of defection. - UNI

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