Venkaiah Naidu defends speedy disqualification of JD(U) MPs, says all such petitions must be disposed in 3 months

New Delhi: Disqualification of a member of legislature should be decided by the presiding officer in about three months to thwart political defections, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu said in his order disqualifying rebel JD(U) MPs Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari from the Rajya Sabha.

Naidu, who is the Rajya Sabha chairman, had disqualified the two JD(U) rebels on Tuesday, after a plea was filed in this regard. However, he did not refer the matter to the committee on privileges.

File image of Venkaiah Naidu. AFP

File image of Venkaiah Naidu. AFP

CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury questioned what he called the "mind-boggling" speed with which the plea was decided by Naidu.

In his order, Naidu said that petitions on whether a particular legislator is entitled to sit in the legislature or not should not be kept pending and dragged on by the presiding officer, as it subverts the essence of the anti-defection law. Such applications were dragged with a view to save the membership of the persons, who have otherwise incurred disqualification or even to save the government, which enjoys majority only because of such type of persons, Naidu added.

Referring of the disqualification petitions to the committee on privileges delays the proceedings and final decision, which is against the Constitution's 10th schedule, Naidu said, while explaining why the rebel JD(U) MPs' disqualification petitions were not referred to the panel.

"This is also tantamount to subverting the essence of the anti-defection law, namely, to curb the menace of defection, by allowing a member to continue his membership without facing the consequences of defection," Naidu said in the order.

The Rajya Sabha chairman also referred to the concerns expressed by the Supreme Court about the unnecessary delay in deciding disqualification petitions by the presiding officers of the legislatures.

The plea for disqualification of the two JD(U) Rajya Sabha MPs was filed on 2 September by the party after they revolted against party chief Nitish Kumar's decision to ally with the BJP.

There have been instances when disqualification applications have dragged on for several months.

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Updated Date: Dec 06, 2017 12:52:02 IST

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