Suspension of MLAs from Legislative Assemblies : Rights of Speaker and Constitutional Provisions

Suspension of MLAs from Legislative Assemblies : Rights of Speaker and Constitutional Provisions-  Today Current Affairs

Context : In Maharashtra legislative Assembly,  12 MLAs are suspended by the speaker for more than 1 year . Therefore suspended MLAs had to go to SC and hon’ble SC is ready to hear this matter and prima facie SC commend that this suspension is worse than expulsion . Any seat can not be vacant for more than 6 months as per the constitutional provision . Therefore in this regard suspension looks unconstitutional. 

 

Introduction : In Maharashtra , because of political biases, the speaker has suspended 12 BJP MLAs on the ground of violence of the code of conduct of Assemblies . But the question is whether the speaker has the sole right to take any decision regarding suspension . For how long this suspension would be continued, whether the supreme court should intervene in this matter on the ground of constitutional violation of the State government . On these parameter honorable SC is ready to hear this matter and  in near future we well get a fresh verdict on this issue 

 

What is the power of speaker on the suspension of any member from the house : The Hindu Analysis

On the grounds of misconduct and the violation of the rules of the legislative assemblies of any state, the speaker on behalf of the houses has discretionary power to take action against MLAs . During last month it has been observed that generally speakers used this power to crush the voice of the opposition even though up to some extent the members of the houses had also violated the rules of the houses also . 

Article 212 (1) of the constitution of India prohibits the interference of the high court in the affairs of the houses . As per the provision  “The validity of any proceedings in the Legislature of a State shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure”. Therefore , many times it has been observed that during the process of suspension the law of Natural justice is generally also violated . 

As per the  Article 194  of Indian constitution, the house has empowered that any member who transgresses these privileges can be suspended through the inherent powers of the House.

In the case of Maharashtra, in the absence of the regular speaker, through a resolution passed by the houses 12 members were suspended . On this ground, these suspended MLAs appealed to court that the procedure of suspension is unlawful but as per the rule of assembly, either speaker solely or on the behalf of the house take any disciplinary action against any member of the house 

 

Max time for which members can be suspended : The Hindu Analysis

Even though there is nothing written in the constitution in this regard but as per the The Representation of the People Act, 1951, no constituent assembly should be vacant for more than 6 months . Within six month through byelection, new members should be elected from that constituency. Therefore on the grounds of constitutional provision suspension of any MLA should not be beyond six month. These member can be expelled from assembly but on the ground of misconduct in the election on which Election commission has authority 

 

Conclusion : 

For running democratic institutions smoothly, executive, legislative and the judiciary must be separated to each other. Even in the case of Indian governance , executive and Legislative are not separated completely, however our lawmakers should try to separate these institutions up to maximum extent. Speaker should not be the member of any political party and in future also that the speaker should not join any political party so that the speaker would be unbiased .

Even Though Judiciary is separated from executive but Judiciary is also the guardian of the constitution and it is the responsibility of the judiciary to protect the fundamental structure of the constitution, therefore Judiciary has to interfere in legislative and executive also. The suspension of the MLAs for more than six month is unconstitutional and the government of Maharashtra must end these suspensions

 

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GS Paper II Source : Indian Express .