Sunday, December 3, 2023

Maharashtra crisis reaches Supreme Court, application seeks 5-year ban on disqualified legislators; matter posted for Wednesday

Giving the example of Karnataka, the petitioner said 17 MLAs, who resigned or were disqualified by the Speaker for anti-party activities, sought re-election and 11 of them got re-elected.

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In the wake of the recent political upheaval in Maharashtra, an application has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking urgent directions in a pending case, leading to a five-year ban on the Legislators, who have either resigned or declared disqualified from the Legislative Assembly, from contesting elections up to five years.

Filed by Jaya Thakur, a Congress leader from Madhya Pradesh, the application was filed in an already pending petition filed by the same person in January, 2021, in which the Apex Court had issued notice to the Central government.

In her earlier petition, Thakur had alleged that political parties in the country have developed a new trend to render the provisions of Xth Schedule redundant and otiose by making the ruling party MLAs resign from the House, leading to the fall of the government.

The MLAs who resign, are then given ministerial posts by the new government and also given tickets to re-contest the by-elections, she had said.

A Bench comprising then Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, Justice A.S. Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian had the sought response from the Central Government in the matter.

In her current application, Thakur contended that the Government of India was yet to file a reply in the matter.

She alleged that political parties were taking advantage of this situation and continuously destroying the elected governments in various states.

The petitioner further said that a similar turn of events was witnessed in the State of Maharashtra, where some political parties were allegedly trying to destroy the Democratic Fabric of the country.

She sought immediate intervention of the Supreme Court in the matter, while submitting that a member of the House, after he incurs disqualification under the Xth Schedule, should not be permitted to contest again during the term for which he was elected.

Taking example of Karnataka, she said that 17 MLAs, who resigned or were disqualified by the Speaker for anti-party activities, sought re-election and 11 of them got re-elected. Ten of them got ministerial berths in the new Government that was formed after the earlier government fell.

The petitioner said that such undemocratic practices were making a mockery of our democracy and the Constitution.

She added that due to such practices, people of the state were denied stability and the voters were denied their right to choose and elect representative having a common ideology.

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