On 14 February 2020, the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) for the disqualification of 11 AIADMK MLAs for vote against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswamy in a motion of confidence in 2017, after the State Advocate General had told the court that the Assembly Speaker had issued a notice of disqualification.
Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde refused to put the speaker on a deadline.
“Needless to mention the Speaker had to take a decision in accordance with the law,” said the Chief Justice in a short order ending the case.
Senior Advocate Kapil Simbal again referred to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice Rohinton F. Natiman on 21 January, which allowed Speakers of Lok Sabha and State Assemblies to decide on disqualification petitions for a "reasonable period" of up to three months.
The judgment also instructed Parliament to amend the Constitution in order to deprive Speakers, who may be prejudiced by their respective political views, of their power to decide on the grounds of disqualification under the Tenth Schedule and to hand it over to an independent tribunal to decide equally and impartially.
Mr. Kapil appears for DMK leader R. Sakkarapani, who has appealed against an April 2018 order of the Madras High Court.
The High Court held that it could not intervene with the Speaker's powers under the Tenth Schedule simply on the basis of a writ petition under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, 1949. The court also refrained from passing any orders on Mr. Sakkarapani's petition to give a mandamus to the Speaker to disqualify 11 AIADMK legislators under the anti-defection rule.
Mr. Sakkarapani's petition claimed that 11 MLAs from the Panneerselvam group voted against the vote of the Trust on 18 February 2017.The plea for their disqualification was made before the Speaker under Paragraph 2 (1)(b) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.
The reason this case was filed was because after the death of the Late. Ms. Jayalalitha the political stability was interrupted. When Mr. Palanisamy become the Chief Minister, Mr. Panneerselvam along with some other MLA’s voted against him in the no-confidence motion.
In the current situation Palanisamy is the Chief Minister and Panneerselvam is the Deputy Chief Minister. According to DMK who have filed the case it is Defection. The laws related to Defecation has been mentioned under Schedule 10 of The Constitutution of India, 1949. Anti- Defecation laws have made so as to ensure that a political party functions on the system of shared belief. Its own political stability and social utility depend on such share beliefs and concerted actions of its members in furtherance of those commonly held principles. Any freedom for its members to vote in any way of the political parties’ principles, because this would undermine the people’s belief in that party.
Author: Harneet Singh