The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to pass any interim relief on a plea filed by Telugu Desam Party supremo and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu
The Uddhav Thackeray camp of Shiv Sena on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that a mere notice for the resolution to remove a Speaker cannot denude him of his powers to act under the tenth schedule of the constitution – providing to curb defection – while he continues to discharge all functions attached to his office.
Addressing a five-judge constitution bench comprising Chief Justice D.Y.Chandrachud, Justice M.R.Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal said that the subterfuge of disabling a Speaker vid-a-vis tenth schedule by giving a notice for his removal while shifting political loyalties cannot be allowing for toplining government as has happened in a number of instances.
Telling the court, irrespective of the political colour of the party in power, the ground reality is the Speaker is a political person and acts politically and when it comes to enforcing the tenth schedule process gets expedited and when it comes to the ruling party, it crawls.
Notwithstanding the ground realities that Speaker always belongs to a political party and invariable his actions are politically coloured, Sibal said that under the scheme of the constitution he cannot be disabled from acting under the anti-defection law merely because I a notice for resolution for his removal is pending, while he continuing to discharge all other function.
Sibal appearing for the Uddhav Thackeray camp said this while arguing revising a judgment by a five-judge constitution bench in Neban Rabia case in which top court had ruled that if a notice for resolution for the removal of the Speaker is pending, then Speaker cannot act under the tenth schedule. He said that this ruling has been taken as a recourse to topple governments not favourable to the Centre.
In a poser from the bench that if the Speaker is not prevented from acting on a petition seeking disqualification of lawmakers uncomfortable to the ruling party, then he would act against them and secure his position as well.
Telling the court as a matter of constitutional principle, a constitutional authority continues to function as a constitutional authority and if members are disqualified then they have judicial remedies.
As Justice Shah pointed to long delays in deciding such cases, Sibal said that they have always sought an expeditious hearing and decision in such cases but when it comes to Rajasthan hearing takes place for days together while it takes years in the case of Goa and Madhya Pradesh.
Besides Sibal, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for the Uddhav Thackeray camp.
Tomorrow, senior advocate Harish Salve will advance his arguments on behalf of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde camp opposing revising of top court judgment in Naman Rabia case relating to 2016 political upheavals in Arunachal Pradesh.
A five-judge constitution bench is hearing a batch of petitions by the warring faction of Shiv Sena led by former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde relating to Maharashtra political crisis triggered by infighting within Shiv Sena.