The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Parliament should consider having an independent and permanent body to decide disqualification petitions against lawmakers, instead of the Speaker, who belongs to a political party, reported PTI.
The court cited certain recent cases to point out that the independence of the Speaker was being questioned time and again. The bench said it was time for the Parliament to revisit the rationale in giving exclusive powers to the Speaker in the interest of more fairness in the procedure, reported News18.
The court made the observations while passing a judgement on a plea of two Congress leaders seeking the disqualification of Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker and Manipur Forest Minister Th Shyamkumar. The three-judge bench, headed by Justice RF Nariman, asked the Manipur Assembly Speaker to decide on the plea within four weeks. The bench allowed Congress MLAs Fajur Rahim and K Meghachandra to approach it again if the Assembly Speaker fails to take a decision within the stipulated time.
Shyamkumar had won the 2017 Assembly elections on a Congress ticket. He, however, left the Congress after the Bharatiya Janata Party formed the government in the state. He was also made a Cabinet minister.
The Supreme Court has recently dealt with Karnataka’s case where several rebel MLAs from Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) had complained that the Speaker had not accepted their resignations. Subsequently, they also challenged their disqualification by the Speaker.