12 Maha BJP MLAs Suspension: SC Issues Notice To Legislative Assembly

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly through its secretary on a petition filed by 12 BJP MLAs challenging their suspension for a year from the Assembly in July for misbehaving with the presiding officer in chair both inside and outside the Assembly.

A bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar said the notice or the pendency of these court proceedings will not come in the way of the suspended MLAs move to urge the House to consider reducing the tenure of their suspension.

The 12 suspended members are — Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Parag Alavani, Harish Pimpale, Yogesh Sagar, Jay Kumar Rawat, Narayan kuche, Ram Satpute, and Bunty Bhangdia. The MLAs have termed their suspension as politically motivated to whittle down the number of the opposition party.

In the Supreme Court, senior advocates Harish Salve, Mukul Rohatgi, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, and Siddharth Bhatnagar appeared for the petitioners assisted by advocates Siddharth Dharmadhikari and Abhikalp Pratap Singh.

“The impugned resolution has been passed in abject violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India in as much as no opportunity of hearing or at least furnishing their written explanation was given to the petitioners. Further, a perusal of the impugned resolution shows that there has been utter non-application of mind in as much there was no material available for identifying the 12 MLAs from a large crowd of people”, said the plea, filed through Singh.

The plea urged the top court to pass a direction to quash the resolution for the suspension of the MLAs.

The top court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on January 11.

The plea contended that the resolution does not show as to what was the material relied on while identifying 12 MLAs from a huge crowd of people while bringing the action of suspension. “The impugned resolution alludes to unruly behaviour on the floor of the House and outside the Chamber of the Speaker. The video footage of the alleged incident, which is in public domain shows a large crowd of people and there is absolutely no way of identifying the 12 MLAs who have been suspended”, added the plea.

The chaos had begun when Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Minister Chhagan Bhujbul had stood up to introduce a resolution in the Assembly seeking the release of empirical data on the OBCs by the Centre for providing political reservation in the local bodies in the state.

(IANS)