Acting Chief Justice B R Sarangi and Justice M S Raman, hearing petitions of improving living conditions of convicts and undertrial prisoners (UTPs), said this in an order on Friday.
A PIL seeking the removal of MLA Mukul Roy from the post of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson in the state Assembly was moved before the Calcutta High Court on Friday, which the state government opposed contending that the matter is in the domain of the Assembly Speaker.
The counsel of Ambika Roy, a BJP MLA was today directed by a Division Bench of acting Chief Justice, Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj of Calcutta High Court to give a short note by 4 August why a Public interest Litigation seeking the removal of Mukul Roy as PAC chairman is maintainable in a court of law.
Roy is the petitioner of this PIL. The state will give its reply thereafter. The matter will be listed for hearing on 10 August. Earlier, opposing the PIL, advocate general Kisor Datta submitted that within the Assembly, the Speaker has the authority to appoint anybody to any post.
The Speaker has absolute discretion in this matter, the advocate general submitted. Claiming that a court cannot interfere in the decisions of a speaker when it comes to the business of the House, as per Article 212 of the Constitution, Datta argued that the PIL was not maintainable and should be dismissed.
Mukul Roy was elected MLA as a BJP nominee, but he has crossed over to the TMC, submitted the counsel for Ambika Roy, the petitioner. The post of chairman of PAC always goes to the Opposition, it was submitted. But Roy is no longer in the BJP, it was submitted. So he should be removed from the post. On 11 June, Roy returned to Trinamul Congress as Krishnnagar north MLA winning on a BJP ticket and was then appointed as the PAC chairman.
Meanwhile, the Leader of opposition Suvendu Adhikari, who attended a hearing on anti-defection charges against Roy at the Speaker’s chamber said that BJP won’t linger the issue any longer and has been mulling legal courses.
“The anti-defection law was not applied in the state for last 10 years. There are 23 previous instances when anti-defection law wasn’t applied and the issue of Gajol CPI-M MLA hasn’t still been resolved. We are optimistic and have faith in the Speaker that he would do justice and settle the issue in time. Our previous experience is that there is hardly any evidence to show that anti-defection issue was resolved in time despite hearings,” claimed Adhikari.
Earlier today, the first meeting of the PAC was held without Roy, who is in Delhi, which was boycotted by the opposition legislators. Asked to comment on Roy’s absence in the first meeting, TMC MLA Tapas Roy and the vice-chief whip in the Assembly told newspersons that it was decided in advance that Roy would not attend the meeting since he was in Delhi.