MP can't be disqualified out of constitutional provision, says senior counsel defending A Raja MP
Further, the judge also directed the counsel to produce the controversial speech made by Raja
CHENNAI: A Member of Parliament (MP) can only be disqualified within the scope of Constitutional provision and the President of India has the authority to disqualify an MP said Senior Counsel R Viduthalai, defending A Raja MP in a quo warranto case filed by Hindu Munnani.
Senior counsel R Viduthalai appeared before Justice Anita Sumanth and submitted the affidavit stating that A Raja's speech was doctored in a way the petitioner wants and made out a case seeking his disqualification.
The counsel contended that Raja has not violated the constitution as the petitioner claims, in line with the constitution he made a speech against untouchability, inequality and advocated gender equality which was prescribed in the constitution.
In the view of Raja untouchability is traceable from Manu Smriti which is an integral part of Sanatan Dharma, which is punishable under Article 17, hence as an MP bound with constitutional duty he commented on Sanatan Dharma, said the counsel.
The counsel also contended that Raja is a member of the Dravidian movement which opposes Aryan ideology, he also had a wider view on Sanatan Dharma.
The judge intervened and observed that his speech did not reflect his wider view on Sanatan.
Further, the judge also directed the counsel to produce the controversial speech made by Raja.
The counsel also cited Articles 102 and 103 of the Indian Constitution while objecting to the disqualification of Raja from his public office initiating quo warranto as the petitioner claims.
The counsel stated that an MP can only be disqualified by satisfying clause (1) of Article 102. The president of India is the only authority to disqualify an MP by obtaining an opinion from the election commission. He also argued that an MP cannot be disqualified by exercising quo warranto.
After the submission, the judge adjourned the matter to November 23 for further hearing.
Hindu Munnani filed a quo warranto petition in the Madras High Court seeking to disqualify A Raja from his MP post as he violated the constitution by criticizing Sanatan Dharma.
In an event, organized by CPIM, A Raja MP criticized Sanatana Dharma as it should be equated with leprosy and HIV.