Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Devendra Fadnavis on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court's judgment in which it termed the suspension of 12 BJP members of the Maharashtra legislative assembly as "unconstitutional" and "irrational".
The leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra assembly said the apex court's decision is "another tight slap" on the face of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government of Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress for its "unconstitutional, unethical, unfair, illegal and undemocratic actions".
The Supreme Court on Friday held that a resolution suspending the 12 BJP MLAs beyond the period of the remainder of the session held in July 2021 is "unconstitutional" and "irrational". The top court delivered its verdict on the pleas filed by the 12 legislators, who had challenged their one-year suspension from the state assembly.
They were suspended on July 5 last year from the assembly after the state government accused them of misbehaving with presiding officer Bhaskar Jadhav in the Speaker's chamber.
Reacting to the apex court's judgment, Fadnavis said in a tweet, "Satyameva Jayate. We welcome and thank the Supreme Court for the historic decision of quashing suspension of our 12 BJP Maharashtra MLAs, who were fighting for the cause of OBCs in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly during the monsoon session."
Apart from Ashish Shelar, the BJP's chief whip in the assembly, others who were suspended were Sanjay Kute, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Parag Alavani, Harish Pimpale, Yogesh Sagar, Jay Kumar Rawal, Narayan Kuche, Ram Satpute and Bunty Bhangdia.
Fadnavis said the SC decision will save the democratic values and it is yet another tight slap on the face of MVA government for its “unconstitutional, unethical, unfair, illegal and undemocratic actions and activities”.
"I congratulate our BJP Maharashtra 12 MLAs for getting justice," he added.
"Since the beginning, we were saying that it was completely unconstitutional and gross misuse of power to suspend our MLAs for such a long period to create artificial majority & that too for no valid reason & the Hon SC has upheld our stand," the former chief minister said.
It was not only a question of these 12 MLAs, but of more than 50 lakh citizens in these 12 constituencies, he said.
Speaking about the development, state minister Nawab Malik, who is also the chief spokesperson of the NCP, said, "The speaker of the legislative assembly will take a decision once the Supreme Court's written order is available. The decision to suspend 12 MLAs of BJP was taken by the speaker and not by the government."
The secretariat of the Maharashtra assembly will study the SC decision after which the speaker decide, he said.