The Supreme Court on Friday revoked the one-year suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. On July 5, 2021, the MLAs were suspended for one year from the Assembly for allegedly misbehaving with the presiding officer. A resolution was passed in the House to affect the suspension.
While quashing the suspension, the Supreme Court termed the decision as ‘unconstitutional and arbitrary’, and said the resolution was illegal and “beyond the powers of the Assembly”.
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“The resolution suspending 12 BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra Assembly beyond the period of the remainder of the session held in July 2021 is unconstitutional,” the court stated.
Last week, the top court had reserved its judgement in the matter after the 12 MLAs had moved the Supreme Court challenging their suspension from the Assembly for the alleged unruly conduct.
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Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who had represented some of the petitioners in the court, had said during the course of the hearing: “The decision of the House without hearing lacks natural justice and is extremely irrational. They cannot police an MLA for one year… This is arbitrary.”
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, who had appeared for some of the other petitioners, said the intention of the suspension should have been to discipline. “Suspension was a power used by the House of Commons for enforcing discipline,” he said, that the suspension cannot extend beyond a session.
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The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar had said that the suspension of the 12 MLAs was prima facie unconstitutional.