The Allahabad High Court on Friday issued notice on a petition filed by Congress Leader for the state of Uttar Pradesh, Deepak Singh, seeking forthwith disposal of disqualification proceedings pending against former Congress MLC Dinesh Pratap Singh, who switched to BJP in 2018.
The bench comprised by Justices Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Dinesh Kumar Singh has asked the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council to file an affidavit setting out the reasons for non-disposal of the proceedings since two years.
The Petitioner had approached the High Court, through Advocates K C Kaushik and Rahul Kaushik, stating that the disqualification petition filed against Dinesh (Respondent No. 3) has been pending before the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council for over two years now.
In 2016, Dinesh was declared elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council from RaeBareli Constituency, as a candidate sponsored by Indian National Congress. However, the party filed a disqualification petition against him April 2018, after he tendered a resignation to join the BJP.
It is the case of the Petitioner that as per Article 191(2) of the Constitution of India read with Tenth Schedule, Dinesh stands disqualified for being member of the Legislative Council. Nevertheless, he has been availing all the facilities that are available to any member of the Legislative Council, due to pendency of the petition.
It was submitted that during 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Dinesh filed his nomination as a candidate set up by the BJP, "without tendering his resignation" as Member of the Legislative Council, even though he was declared elected on the ticket of Congress by the Returning Officer.
It was further averred that objections for rejection of his candidature as a candidate of the BJP were filed by the Congress however, the nomination Form was declared valid by the Returning Officer.
In these circumstances the Petitioner pointed out,
"Respondent No.3 is drawing all the facilities of Member Legislative Council even though it is a clear cut case of disqualification as per Article 191 of the Constitution of India read with Tenth Schedule."
Reliance was placed on KeishamMeghachandra Singh v. The Hon'ble Speaker Manipur Legislative Assembly &Ors., , whereby the Supreme Court had fixed an outer limit of three months for deciding disqualification petitions, from the date of filing.
The Petitioner also refereed to Shiva Nandan Prasad Singh v. Chairman, Bihar Legislative Council & Ors., (2004) 8 5CC 747, whereby it was held that "on the plain language of Paragraph 2, the disqualification comes into force or becomes effective on the happening of the event."
The Petitioner had thus sought a direction to the Legislative Council to decide the disqualification petition within a period of four weeks and in the interim, restrain the Respondent from attending the Legislative Council or availing any facility thereof.
On consideration of the aforesaid the bench directed the Principal Secretary of the UP Legislative Council, Lucknow
"to file his affidavit and point out to this Court as to why the matter has not been decided within time as fixed by the Court in similar matters and submit his explanation on or before Friday."
The matter will now be taken up on June 19.
Case Title: Deepak Singh v. Chairman Legislative Council Uttar Pradesh & Ors.
Case No.: WP (Misc.) No. 8847/2020
Quorum: Justice Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal and Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh
Appearance: Advocates Onkar Singh, KC Kaushik and Rahul Kaushik (for Petitioner); Advocates Lalit Shukla and Sharad Pathak (for Respondents)
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