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Cash for query case: SC upholds MPs' expulsion
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | January 10, 2007 12:15 IST
Last Updated: January 10, 2007 13:20 IST
The 5-judge Constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice of India Y K Sabharwal found no merit in upturning the Parliament's decision and dismissed the petition in a 4-1 judgement.
In his dissenting note Justice R V Ravindran said that the parliament had no right to expel members. The best course of action according to him was to suspend the MPs and withdraw their privileges and try them under the Prevention of Corruption Act. They should have been allowed to continue as members of parliament till the judgement.The Parliament had expelled 11 members 10 of whom belonged to Rajya Sabha and 1 to Lok Sabha on December 23, 2005.
The historic judgement runs to over 300 pages. Those who upheld the expulsion included Chief Justice of India Justice Y K Sabbarwal, Justice K G Balakrishnan-who takes over as the next chief justice of India later this week, Justice C K Thakkar and Justice D K Jain.
Upholding the expulsion, the court said that the stand taken by the speaker of Lok Sabha Somnath Chatterjee that the court had no right to entertain the petition of the expelled MPs was not correct. The powers given to the Supreme Court to interpret the constitution was supreme. The judges also pointed out that while adopting the Westminster type of constitution which has the powers to expel MPs for their misconduct, this power was also inherited by the Indian constitution.
They dismissed the plea taken by the expelled MPs that they had not been given fair opportunity to explain their conduct. Bansal committee set up by the parliament had given them enough time to respond but they could not respond in time. Besides, all the parties had condemned the MPs for taking money for asking questions in the parliament. Though 60 questions were listed on behalf of North India Small Manufactureres Association only 25 could be asked.
The expelled members are -- Narendra Kumar Khushwaha, Anna Saheb M K Patil from Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh (BSP), Manoj Kumar Palamau of Jharkhand (RJD), Y G Mahajan of Jalgaon, Maharashtra (BJP), Pradip Gandhi of Rajnandgaon Chhattisgarh (BJP), Suresh Chandel Hamirpur - Himachal Pradesh (BJP), Ram Sevak Singh of Gwalior (Congress), Lal Chander Kol of Robertsganj, Uttar Pradesh (BSP), Raja Ram Pal of Bilhaur, Uttar Pradesh (BSP) and Chandra Pratap Singh of Sidhi, Madhya Pradesh (BJP).