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Today it is 12, tomorrow it can be 120: SC slams Maharashtra govt for suspending 12 BJP MLAs, leaving constituencies unrepresented

The bench refused to accept Senior Advocate C Aryama Sundaram's argument for the State of Maharashtra and stated that it cannot examine the quantum of punishment imposed by a legislative assembly.

The Supreme Court has come hard on the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for the suspension of 12 BJP MLAs for one year in July last year, calling the move “worse than expulsion”. The apex court bench of Justices Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Ravikumar on Tuesday called the suspension of the MLAs unconstitutional, according to Article 190(4) of the Constitution.

“If for a period of 60 days a member of a House of the Legislature of a State is without permission of the House absent from all meetings thereof, the House may declare his seat vacant,” noted the SC bench adding that had the Speaker then resolved the dispute, this crisis could have been avoided.

‘Today it is 12, tomorrow it can be 120’, SC slams Maharashtra government for the arbitrary decision

The SC bench further reminded the state that 12 constituencies could not be kept unrepresented for such a long time and that the constituents had a right to representation. Judges Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Ravikumar rebuked the Maharashtra state government by adding that allowing such a precedent would put democracy in jeopardy.

“Today it is 12, tomorrow it can be 120,” Justice Khanwilkar exclaimed.

Saying so, the bench refused to accept Senior Advocate C Aryama Sundaram’s argument for the State of Maharashtra and stated that it cannot examine the quantum of punishment imposed by a legislative assembly.

Sundaram requested time to receive directions from the State after the bench voiced these views. As a result, the hearing has been postponed until next Tuesday.

While Senior Advocate C Aryama Sundaram represented the state government, senior advocates Mahesh Jethmalani, Mukul Rohatgi, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, and Siddharth Bhatnagar had led the arguments for the suspended BJP MLAs.

Maha Vikas Aghadi govt suspends 12 BJP MLAs from Maharashtra Assembly for one year

It may be recalled that on July 5, 2021, just as the two-day Monsoon Session of the Maharashtra Assembly commenced, 12 BJP MLAs had been suspended for one year for allegedly heckling and using unparliamentary language against speaker in-chair Bhaskar Jadhav. 

According to reports, BJP MLAs Parag Alvani, Ram Satpute, Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Shirish Pimple, Jayakumar Rawal, Yogesh Sagar, Narayan Kuche and Kirti Kumar Bagdia had been suspended from the House.

Reacting to the suspension, Maharashtra BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis in an address to the media claimed that they had suspected his move by the MVA to reduce the numbers in the House. Denying all the accusations, “The government has created a story out of the incident and suspended 12 of our MLAs. Our MLAs didn’t abuse the Speaker. There were some heated arguments but our senior member Ashish Shelar on behalf of all MLAs apologised to the Speaker in-Chair Bhaskar Jadhav. Later, the government came up with this plan to suspend our MLAs. We will continue our fight,” informed Fadnavis to the media. 

As per reports, the opposition created an uproar at the Maharashtra assembly over the OBC issue when the Speaker in-chair Bhaskar Jadhav didn’t give them enough time to speak on the issue. 

The BJP sought to bring an adjournment motion to conduct a detailed discussion over the issue of pending public service commission exams and appointments of eligible candidates, but the request was turned down by the Council chairman.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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