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Supreme Court sets aside suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from Maharashtra Assembly

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The Supreme Court on Friday, while calling the indefinite suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from Maharashtra Assembly as unconstitutional and arbitrary, set aside the same on account that such suspension could be only limited to the ongoing Monsoon session, which happened last year

A Bench comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice C.T. Ravikumar passed the verdict on a joint appeal filed by the 12 suspended BJP MLAs, led by Ashish Shelar.

The Supreme Court had, on January 19, reserved its order on plea of MLAs, filed on July 22 last year, challenging their one-year suspension from the state Legislative Assembly for allegedly misbehaving with the presiding officer.

The 12 suspended members are- Ashish Shelar, Sanjay Kute, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Parag Alavani, Harish Pimpale, Yogesh Sagar, Jay Kumar Rawat, Narayan Kuche, Ram Satpute and Bunty Bhangdia.

They were suspended on July 5, 2021 from the Assembly for one year after the State government accused them of “misbehaving” with presiding officer Bhaskar Jadhav in the Speaker’s chamber. The motion to suspend these MLAs was moved by state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anil Parab and passed by a voice vote.

During the course of the arguments, the Apex Court had said suspension from Legislative Assembly for one year should be linked with some purpose and there has to be an “overpowering” reason that a member should not be allowed to even attend the next session.

The Bench had observed that the resolution passed by the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly suspending 12 BJP MLAs, is prima facie “unconstitutional” as such a suspension cannot operate beyond six months owing to a constitutional bar.

It had said the explicit outer limit as per the Constitution for an MLA to be absent from his seat is 60 days, after which the seat is deemed to be vacated.

Read order below

16505_2021_33_1501_33046_Order_28-Jan-2022

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