Tamil News

Tamil Nadu Speaker Disqualifies 18 MLAs

Madras High Court

The dissident legislators approached the Governor of Tamil Nadu with a memorandum communicating lack of confidence in the Chief Minister. The Speaker P. Dhanapal ruled that this action tantamount to willingly leaving of their membership of the party and so, disqualified 18 MLAs.

The Speaker’s verdict under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution can be scrutinized and subject to judicial review. If it is confronted, the courts will have to decide whether legislators withdrawing support to their own party’s government amounts to voluntarily parting their membership, a condition under which an MLA may be disqualified under the anti-defection law. The second condition is concerned only when a whip is defied, but even then, there is a facility for the party to excuse such a violation.

The role of the speaker has become dubious nowadays in Indian politics. This situation recently experienced in states like UP and Arunachal Pradesh. It has become a pattern that the speaker will take up the pleas under the anti-defection law just before a floor test and decide things with partisan attitude. Through this, it is vivid that Speaker is unable to discharge his constitutional duty without any bias or neutrality and not acting like an independent body. In order to remove partisan attitude in implementing of anti-defection law, it is suggested that adjudicatory powers on such issues may be transferred to an independent body like election commission.

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