SC reserves order on suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from Maharashtra Assembly

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on the petition filed by 12 BJP MLAs from Maharashtra, challenging the Legislative Assembly’s July 2021 decision to suspend them for one year for their disorderly conduct in the House.
The Apex Court bench, headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar and also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar, asked all the parties to file their written submission in a week.
The Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra, in its order on July 5, 2021, had suspended 12 BJP MLAs, for a period of one year, for their alleged misbehaviour and misconduct in the State Assembly House.
The Bench passed the order on a petition filed by BJP lawmakers, led by Ashish Shelar,challenging the resolution for Maharashtra Assembly.
The MLAs were suspended for a year, as they were accused of misbehaving in the House and using “abusive language” against the presiding officer.
Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the MLAs, argued before the Supreme Court that the power of the House to suspend was not under question.
Maharashtra government lawyer CA Sundaram argued whether the period of suspension could be determined at the will and pleasure of the House.
Jethmalani further said that the powers and privileges were enjoyed by the House of Commonsin 1950.
“We have to go to the roots to see whether HoC in 1950 enjoyed that privilege of imposing aperiod of suspension of one year,” Jethmalani argued before the Supreme Court.
He further argued that in this case, it was a first time offence, adding that prolonged suspension was worse than expulsion.
Jethmalani said the rights of the constituents was affected. Re-election has to happen in six months. In some countries, it is less than six months.
Senior Advocate C Aryama Sundaram, lawyer for the state of Maharashtra government, told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that when an MLA is suspended as constituency member, he continues to remain member only, but without any voice.
“When a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) is suspended as a Constituency member, he only continues to remain member, but without any voice,” said Sundaram.
Sundaram further said that the power of legislature to suspend a member was available and thecorrectness of exercise of that power would not be open to judicial review.
The power of Legislature to punish for privilege in proceedings before itself did not have any limitation, he added.

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