“The Supreme Court has asked the Manipur Speaker to decide within three months the case of disqualification of a Congress MLA (who defected to the ruling side immediately after election and joined the government in in 2017).
“That means the Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker also has to decide disqualification petitions pending before him,” Congress leader and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared in the Manipur case before the apex court told the media here.
He said this would have an impact also on the Goa Assembly Speaker where similar disqualification cases are pending. “This will change the political scenario in the country. In my view the judgement is right. We want the 10th Schedule (anti-defection law) to be amended and a Tribunal be formed to hear such cases,” the former union minister said.
In both the states, the Congress emerged as the single largest party after elections in 2017 but the BJP managed to form government with the help of defectors from Congress and other parties.
In Tamil Nadu, Speaker Dhanapal has yet to decide on the pleas for disqualification filed by the faction of AIADMK owing allegiance to Sasikala faction against 11 MLAs led by O Panneerselvam which voted against the Edappadi K Palanisamy government in 2017. Subsequently, Panneerselvam’s faction joined the AIADMK and he joined the government as Deputy Chief Minister.
Sibal said in the Manipur case the defection of Congress MLA T Shyamkumar helped the BJP form the government. Congress filed a disqualification petition against Shyamkumar but the Assembly Speaker did not give a decision.
SC calls for independent mechanism to decide on disqualification cases
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that Parliament may seriously consider amending the Constitution to substitute the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies as arbiter of disputes concerning disqualification with a permanent Tribunal headed by retired judges or some other independent mechanism to decide such cases impartially. “It is time that Parliament have a rethink on whether disqualification petitions ought to be entrusted to a Speaker as a quasi-judicial authority when such Speaker continues to belong to a particular party either de jure or de facto. “Parliament may seriously consider amending the Constitution to substitute the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies as arbiter of disputes concerning disqualification which arise under the Tenth Schedule with a permanent Tribunal headed by a retired SC Judge or a retired CJ of HCo ensure that such disputes are decided both swiftly and impartially which are so vital in the proper functioning of our democratic,” the apex court.