Dimapur, January 26: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has wholeheartedly welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling on Anti-Defection Law and for directing the Parliament to rethink over the power of the Speaker in deciding petitions seeking disqualification of lawmakers, who also belongs to a political party.
With Supreme Court’s directive, the Parliament is to set up an independent tribunal to decide disqualification petitions within reasonable time to give teeth to the anti-defection law instead of leaving it to Speakers who continue to remain political party members either de jure or de facto.
In a press release, the NPF urged the Parliament to do away with quasi-judicial authority of a Speaker in matters of disqualification petitions, as this system has proved a failure and ineffective since the Speaker also belongs to a particular political party and he/she can be swayed away by his political interests.
“In many cases, the disqualification petition which is to be decided within reasonable period of time is lingered on to indefinite period,” it alleged.
Citing the classic example of unreasonable delay at hand is the disqualification petition against 7 MLAs (NPF) which is still laying in NLA Speaker’s court for the past 10 months, the NPF said this warrants early disposal as per the directive of the SC in Manipur case as much as the case is similarly situated.
In the recent case of Manipur Congress MLAs disqualification case, the 3 judges bench of the apex court directed the Speaker to dispose off the case within 4 weeks failing which the petitioner can approach the HC. In general term, it said the apex court has given direction that speaker should not sit over disqualification petition for more than 3 months
“We are of the strong view that this judgment of the Supreme Court shall compel all the political parties to have a serious thought for giving effect to the provisions of the Tenth Schedule in its true earnest,” it said.
The NPF also urged the Parliament to seriously consider, as advised by the Supreme Court, amending the Constitution to substitute ‘Speakers’ of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies which is under Tenth Schedule with a ‘Permanent Tribunal’ which could be headed by a retired SC judge or a retired chief justice of a HC or some independent mechanism to ensure that such disputes are decided swiftly and impartially. (Page News Service)