Difference between revisions of "SPEAKER, ORISSA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY vs UTKAL KESHARI PARIDA"
(Created page with "CIVIL APPEAL NO.469 OF 2013 APPELLANT:- Speaker, Orissa Legislative Assembly RESPONDENT:-Utkal Keshari Parida '''STATEMENT OF FACTS:''' - The Appellant in this case w...")
Revision as of 20:38, 23 May 2020
CIVIL APPEAL NO.469 OF 2013 APPELLANT:- Speaker, Orissa Legislative Assembly RESPONDENT:-Utkal Keshari Parida
STATEMENT OF FACTS: - The Appellant in this case was the Speaker of the Orissa Legislative Assembly. There were four elected members of the National Congress Party (NCP) in the Orissa Legislative Assembly. All the said four elected members of the NCP joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which was the Ruling Party in the State of Orissa. On account of such defection, Respondent, Shri Utkal Keshari Parida, who was the President of the State Unit of the NCP in the State of Orissa, filed four separate Disqualification Petitions before the Appellant for disqualification of the said four elected members of the NCP. In as much as, the matter was being delayed, the Respondent filed Writ Petition (C) No. 14869 of 2012, before the Orissa High Court, inter alia, for a direction to the Speaker of the Assembly to dispose of the Disqualification Petitions expeditiously. Before the Division Bench of the said High Court, an objection was taken regarding the maintainability of the Writ Petition at the instance of the Respondent, who though being the President of the State Unit of the NCP, was not a Member of the Legislative Assembly, in view of the provisions of Sub-rule (2) of Rule 6 of the 1987 Rules. HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT By referring the case Dr. Mahachandra Prasad Singh v. Chairman, Bihar Legislative Council and Others, [(2004) 8 SCC 747]Bold text, the High Court came to the conclusion that the Writ Petition was maintainable at the instance of the Respondent herein. While arriving at such conclusion, the High Court also took into consideration the decision in Kihoto Hollohan v. Zachillhu and Others, [1992 Supp (2) SCC 651]Italic text and the provisions of Article 191 read with paragraph 2 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India. Interpreting the provisions of Rule 6 of the 1987 Rules, the High Court also took into consideration the judgment of this Court in Rajendra Singh Rana and Others v. Swami Prasad Maurya and Others, [(2007) 4 SCC 270],Italic text in which reference had been made to another decision in the case of Prakash Singh Badal v. Union of India, [AIR 1987 P&H 263]Italic text. On a consideration of the said two decisions and the other decisions already referred to herein before, the High Court came to the conclusion that it was abundantly clear that if any Member of the House belonging to a political party had joined another political party, which is a disqualification under paragraph 2(1) of the Tenth Schedule, any person interested could make a reference to the Speaker under Rule 6 of the 1987 Rules and it was not necessary that such a reference had to be made by a Member of the Legislative Assembly. APPEAL BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT :- The Appeal has been preferred by the Speaker of the Orissa Legislative Assembly questioning the aforesaid decision of the High Court. SUMMARY OF ARGUMENTS 1. ARGUMENTS ON SIDE OF APPELLANT:- Appearing in support of the Appeals, Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned Senior Advocate, submitted that the High Court had wrongly interpreted the provisions of Sub-rules (1) and (2) of Rule 6 of the 1987 Rules in arriving at the erroneous conclusion that the Disqualification Petitions under Rules 6 and 7 of the 1987 Rules could be made not only by Members of the House, but by any interested person also. Mr. Venugopal urged that the language of Sub-rule (2) of Rule 6 of the 1987 Rules clearly indicates that it is only a Member of the House, who in relation to a petition for disqualification of another Member, could apply to the Speaker. Mr. Venugopal urged that giving any other interpretation to the said provisions would do violence to and be contrary to the intention contained in Rule 6 of the 1987 Rules. Mr. Venugopal urged that in the light of the explicit language used in Sub-rule (2) of Rule 6 of the 1987 Rules, framed by the Speaker of the Assembly under paragraph 8 of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution, the High Court was clearly wrong in interpreting the said provisions so as to allow an application for disqualification of a Member of the House to be made by a person who was not a Member thereof. Mr. Venugopal submitted that the Order of the High Court was contrary to the provisions of law and was liable to be set aside.
ARGUMENTS ON SIDE OF RESPONDENT:- Mr. Amarendra Sharan, learned Senior Advocate, who appeared for the sole Respondent who had made the application for disqualification of the four Members before the Speaker, submitted that the four MLAs who had been elected on the nomination of the NCP, joined the Biju Janata Dal on 5.6.2012, without giving any prior notice of their intention to do so and that they had voluntarily given up the membership of the NCP by joining the BJD, thereby incurring disqualification as Members of the Assembly under paragraph 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution.
Mr. Sharan also submitted that the action of the said four MLAs did not amount to a merger of the NCP Legislature Party with the Biju Janata Dal on account of the fact that a merger could only be of a political party with any other political party. Mr. Sharan submitted that the legislature party of a political party by itself had no authority or power to merge with any other political party, without the merger of its original political party. In such circumstances, the provisions of paragraph 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution were squarely attracted to the facts of this case and the same had merely to be brought to the notice of the Speaker for him to hold that the said four MLAs stood disqualified from the membership of the House. On the question of the locus standi of the Respondent to maintain the writ petition in his capacity as the President of the State unit of the NCP in the State of Orissa, Mr. Sharan submitted that the said question was no longer res integra in view of the decision rendered by this Court in the case of Dr. Mahachandra Prasad Singh (supra), in which reference had been made to a Full Bench decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case of Prakash Singh Badal (supra). Mr. Sharan submitted that the Full Bench of the Punjab & Haryana High Court had considered the question, which has also arisen in this case, and it was held that paragraph (2)(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule did not contemplate or visualize that the disqualification incurred by a Member of the House would have to be brought to the notice of the Speaker only by a Member of the House.
Mr. Sharan submitted that any other interpretation given to the provisions of paragraph 2(1)(a) read with Rule 6 (1) and (2) of the 1987 Rules, would defeat the very object and purpose of the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution.
SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT The court held that The provisions of Sub-rules (1) and (2) of Rule 6 of the 1987 Rules have, therefore, to be read down to make it clear that not only a Member of the House, but any person interested, would also be entitled to bring to the notice of the Speaker the fact that a Member of the House had incurred disqualification under the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India. On receipt of such information, the Speaker of the House would be entitled to decide under paragraph 6 of the Tenth Schedule as to whether the Member concerned had, in fact, incurred such disqualification and to pass appropriate orders on his findings. Therefore, Supreme Court accordingly, dismissed all the appeals and uphold the judgement of the High Court impugned therein.