Haryana Vidhan Sabha decides to ignore HC notice on Abhay Chautala's naming : The Tribune India

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Haryana Vidhan Sabha decides to ignore HC notice on Abhay Chautala's naming

It is an infringement on rights of legislature, says Speaker Gian Chand Gupta

Haryana Vidhan Sabha decides to ignore HC notice on Abhay Chautala's naming

Speaker Gian Chand Gupta puts forth a point during the Budget session on Friday. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Chandigarh, March 17

The Haryana Legislative Assembly today passed a resolution for not submitting a reply to a Punjab and Haryana High Court notice in the case of the naming of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) MLA Abhay Chautala for two days by the Speaker.

Legislature vs judiciary

  • Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said the notice from the high court was an infringement on the rights of the legislature
  • On Feb 21, Speaker had named Abhay Chautala for two days for casting aspersions on the Chair. A verbal duel followed between the two
  • Congress MLA Neeraj Sharma opposed the resolution, saying the court’s door was being closed too, saying it was a wrong precedence

Raja Ram Pal case cited

In Raja Ram Pal case (2007), then CJI YK Sabharwal, in a majority judgment, said: “Article 122 (1) and Article 212 (1) prohibit the validity of any proceedings in legislature from being called in question in a court merely on the ground of irregularity of procedure”, adding that “the proceedings, which may be tainted on account of substantive or gross illegality or unconstitutionality, are not protected from judicial scrutiny”

Earlier, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kanwar Pal Gujjar moved the resolution and the House passed it with a voice vote. Speaker Gian Chand Gupta said, “The notice from the high court is an infringement on the rights of the legislature.”

On February 21, the Speaker had named Abhay Chautala for two days for casting aspersions on the Chair. A verbal duel also followed between the two.

The next day, Chautala moved the high court for setting aside the Speaker’s order. The high court issued a notice to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha Secretariat, seeking its response by March 23 but didn’t stay the Speaker’s order.

Abhay Chautala today contended that he could be suspended for a day, but for suspending him more than a day a resolution was to be moved. Rule 104B (1) of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Haryana Legislative Assembly allows the Speaker to name a member who disregards the authority of the chair or abuses the rules of the House by persistently and wilfully obstructing the business thereof.

Rule 104 B (2) says that if a member is named by the Speaker then on a motion being made, the member can be suspended from the House for a period not exceeding the remainder of the session. But no motion was moved before naming him for two days.

However, the Speaker today quoted from Pandit MSM Sharma vs Shree Krishna Sinha and others (1961) case wherein a bench of eight judges of the Supreme Court held that “the validity of the proceedings inside the Legislature of a State cannot be called in question on the allegation that the procedure laid down by the law had not been strictly followed”.

He also mentioned the Keshav Singh case (1964), where under a presidential reference the SC has said that Article 212 (1) of the Constitution “lays down that the validity of any proceedings in the Legislature of a State shall not be called in question on the ground of any alleged irregularity of procedure”. The apex court further says that Article 212 (2) “confers immunity on the officers and members of the Legislature in whom powers are vested by or under the Constitution for regulating procedure or the conduct of business, or for maintaining order, in the Legislature from being subject to the jurisdiction of any court in respect of the exercise by him of those powers”.

Abhay Chautala countered the Speaker, “For how long will you take wrong decisions.” Congress MLA Neeraj Sharma opposed the resolution, saying you were closing the court’s door too, and added that it was a wrong precedence.

In Keshav Singh’s case, the SC also says that if the legislative proceeding is illegal and unconstitutional, “it would be open to be scrutinised in a court of law, through such scrutiny is prohibited if the complaint against the procedure is not no more than this that the procedure was illegal”.

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