Hearing a bunch of petitions challenging the Tamil Nadu governor's decision to appoint Jayalalitha as chief minister of Tamil Nadu, the Supreme Court Monday referred the matter to a larger bench while issuing notice to the Attorney General seeking his assistance in the matter.
A bench comprising Justices S S M Quadri and Doraiswamy Raju directed the matter to be placed before the Chief Justice of India for constitution of an appropriate bench.
The public interest litigations, filed by advocates B R Kapur and Manohar Lal Sharma, have raised among other things the question whether a person was entitled to
become chief minister after being disqualified to become a
legislator on account of conviction and sentence for a term of
over two years.
The petition filed by Sharma said, "Inviting Jayalalitha
to form the government had raised two vital questions -
whether any convicted person has a right to hold any post of
profit in the place of general importance as well as the
employment of government and whether a disqualified person
becoming prime minister or chief minister is constitutional".
As per Section 389(1) of CrPC, the suspension of sentence
"does not expressly speak of suspension of the conviction," he
Seeking setting aside of the appointment, Kapur in his petition said the governor had "illegally appointed" her to the post in contravention of
the provisions of Representation of People's Act.
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