Wednesday, November29,2023

Maharashtra political crisis: Plea in SC seeks to restrain MLAs, who have either resigned or disqualified, from contesting election for upto 5 yrs

Supreme Court of India

New Delhi [India], June 22 (ANI): An application was filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction to restrain those MLAs from contesting elections for upto five years, who have either resigned or disqualified from the Assembly, observing the recent political crisis that has taken in Maharashtra.

"The political parties are taking disadvantage of this situation and continue to destroy the elected government in various states of our country, "said the application filed through Advocates Varinder Kumar Sharma and Varun Thakur.
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The petitioner said that recently from June 18 to June 22, the same situation was seen in Maharashtra.

"These political parties again try to destroy the democratic fabric of our country. Therefore, we seek the immediate direction of the Court that is necessary as prayed in this application, " the application said.

The application was filed by Jaya Thakur, a Congress leader from Madhya Pradesh in her pending petition seeking similar relief to restrain those MPs/MLAs from contesting election upto five years, from the date of his resignation/disqualification from the Assembly. The apex Court, on January 7, 2021, had issued notice to the Centre and others. According to the petitioner, the Respondent Centre and others had not filed a counter-affidavit till date.

The applicant said that her plea concerns the importance of party politics in a democracy and the requirement to have stability within the government to facilitate good governance, as mandated under the Constitution.

"We need to keep in mind that the separating line between dissent and defection requires to be made apparent, so that democratic values are upheld in balance with other constitutional considerations, " the applicant said.

"In an endeavour to maintain such balance, the role of the Speaker is critical in maintaining the balance between democratic values and constitutional considerations. In this regard, this Court's role is only to ascertain whether the Speaker, as a neutral member, upheld the tradition of his office to uphold the Constitution, " the application said.

The application also mentioned about the political crisis that took place in the Manipur assembly in 2017 and Karnataka assembly in 2019 and the Madhya Pradesh assembly in 2020.

These undemocratic practices are making a mockery of our democracy and the Constitution, the application said adding that the result is that due to this, people of the State are denied stability and the voters are denied their right to choose and elect representatives having a common ideology.

The application raised the issue that the Election Commission has always as a matter of practice allowed disqualified members to contest in the bye polls, and called such practice as a clear violation of Article 191(1) (e) of the Constitution of India.

The applicant said that the object and purpose of the Tenth Schedule is to curb the evil of political defection motivated by the lure of office or rather similar considerations which endanger the foundation of our democracy.

"By the 91st Constitutional Amendment, Articles 71 (1B), 164(1B) and 361B were enacted to ensure that a member disqualified by the Speaker on account of defection is not appointed as a Minister or holds any remunerative political post from the date of disqualification. Moreover, if these disqualified persons/defectors are contesting bye-election to the present House then the object of the 10th schedule is defeated, " the application said. (ANI)

Source: National