Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

Suspension of MLA is worse than expulsion: SC

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Article 190

Mains level : Parliamentary Conduct and decorum of the houses

The Supreme Court has said that suspension from the Legislative Assembly for a year is “worse” than expulsion, as it affects the Right of a constituency to remain represented in the House.

What is the case?

  • Few MLAs from Maharashtra have challenged their one-year suspension from the Legislative Assembly for allegedly misbehaving with the presiding officer.

Suspending MLAs: A fact check

  • Each state has their individual rules for the conduct of assembly. These rules provides for the suspension of MLAs.
  • Under Rule 53 of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Rules, 1960, only the Speaker has the power to suspend MLAs indulging in unruly behavior.
  • Therefore, the motion to suspend cannot be put to vote as this would allow the Government to suspend as many Members of Opposition as it sees fit.

Constitutional ground behind this suspension

  • The Court referred to Article 190 (4) of the Constitution which says that if for a period of 60 days, a member of a House, without its permission, is absent; the House may declare his or her seat vacant.
  • Suspension of MLAs beyond this period would lead to their disqualification.

What did the Supreme Court observe?

  • Suspension of the MLAs would amount to punishing the constituencies as a whole.
  • Each constituency has equal amount of right to be represented in the House, observed the court.
  • The apex court observed that any state cannot create a constitutional void, a hiatus situation for any constituency.
  • It said the House cannot suspend a member beyond 59 days.

 

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