Larger SC bench to examine if an expelled MP is bound by whip

Larger SC bench to examine if an expelled MP is bound by whip
Larger SC bench to examine if an expelled MP is bound by whip

The Supreme Court today referred to a larger bench the issue whether a lawmaker is bound by the party whip even after his or her expulsion.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by Rajya Sabha MP and expelled Samajwadi Party member Amar Singh, who has sought to declare that the provisions of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution relating to disqualification on ground of defection do not apply to an elected member of a House who has been expelled by the party.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and A M Khanwilkar referred to an earlier plea filed by Singh in which the court had refused to revisit the historic 1996 verdict on the anti- defection law which had held that a nominated or elected lawmaker of a political party is bound by its whip even after expulsion.

The bench said while dealing with that case, the two judge bench had referred the matter to a larger bench and framed certain questions, including “What is the status in either House of Parliament or the state legislatures of a member who is expelled from the party which set him/her up as a candidate for election”.

The matter was then heard by a three-judge bench which had disposed of the plea while keeping open the questions referred to by the two-judge bench for decision in an appropriate case.

“As we find, in the case at hand, the term of the petitioner (Amar Singh) shall be up to July 4, 2022. Thus, the reference that was made in the case of Amar Singh, the present petitioner, remains to be dealt with as the same has not been answered with the efflux of time,” the apex court said today.

“As the question remains alive today, we think it appropriate that the matter should be placed before the larger bench for consideration of the questions which we have reproduced from the decision rendered in Amar Singh,” it said.

The bench said the petition be placed before Chief Justice of India J S Khehar for the constitution of an appropriate larger bench to deal with the issues.

“In the alternative, declare that the petitioner having been expelled by the Samajwadi Party, his conduct would no longer fall within the acts that constitute a disqualification within the meaning of para 2(1)(a) and para 2(1)(b) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution,” Singh’s plea had said.

The apex court also issued notice to the Centre on the interim relief sought by Singh that the 1996 verdict shall not apply to him while the issues raised by him are pending consideration by the larger bench.

As per the interpretation of the anti-defection law by the Supreme Court in 1996, a member elected or nominated by a political party continues to be under its control even after his or her expulsion.

( Source – PTI )

Court summons Digvijay Singh in defamation case

Delhi court summoned to Senior Congress leader Digvijay Sing to face trial in a criminal  Defamation case  lodged against him by BJP President Nitin Gadkari.

Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar told that the accused Digvijay Singh has been summoned for the offence under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code to face trial for criminal defamation. Let he be summoned for December 21

The court on October 16 had reserved its order on the BJP president’s complaint after recording the statements of two witnesses.

The court had recorded the statement of Gadkari and BJP National Secretary Bhupinder Yadav, also a Rajya Sabha MP.

Gadkari has filed the criminal defamation case against Singh, who had accused him of having business links with his party MP Ajay Sancheti who allegedly pocketed a huge sum in the coal block allocation.

Gadkari, in his statement recorded in the court, had denied having any business ties with Sancheti and had said Singh had levelled “totally false and defamatory” allegations against him to “give the impression that I have been responsible for allocation of coal mines” to Sancheti.

In his petition, filed through advocate Ajay Digpaul, Gadkari has sought Singh’s prosecution under sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation) of the IPC.

In his complaint, Gadkari has said the Congress-led UPA government is facing a lot of heat on account of its irregularities as brought out by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in coal blocks allocation and accused Singh of making baseless allegations against him to divert attention from the issue.

Gadkari’s counsel had earlier denied that his client has any “direct or indirect” business relations with Sancheti and contended that Singh’s statement had the “clear intention to malign the reputation of the complainant.”

Yadav, who had also recorded his statement in the court, had said that on September 3, he read news articles in various newspapers about the alleged business relations between Gadkari and Sancheti and it was “totally false” that Gadkari had earned Rs 490 crore from coal allocation through Sancheti.

Yadav had also said the news was “defamatory” and it had lowered Gadkari’s image in the eyes of the public.

The court had also recorded the statement of an authorised representative of a national English daily in which the alleged defamatory statement of Singh was published.