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Non-Appointment Of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Since 2 Years: Delhi High Court Seeks Centre's Response

Akshita Saxena
1 Sep 2021 9:00 AM GMT
Non-Appointment Of Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Since 2 Years: Delhi High Court Seeks Centres Response
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The Delhi High Court today asked the Central Government to take instructions on a plea seeking appointment of Deputy Speaker to the Lok Sabha. The matter will be heard on September 30.The plea filed by Advocate Pawan Reley, appearing as party in person, avers that there are certain functions in Lok Sabha that can only be discharged by Deputy Speaker. However, the position is lying vacant...

The Delhi High Court today asked the Central Government to take instructions on a plea seeking appointment of Deputy Speaker to the Lok Sabha. The matter will be heard on September 30.

The plea filed by Advocate Pawan Reley, appearing as party in person, avers that there are certain functions in Lok Sabha that can only be discharged by Deputy Speaker. However, the position is lying vacant since over 2 years.

The matter was heard by a Division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.

The plea states,

"Deputy Speaker is not subordinate to the Speaker but holds an independent position and is answerable to the House alone...It is the first time in the history of Indian republic that the office of the Deputy speaker has been vacant for 830 days (2 Years, 3 months, 7 days) as of August 30, 2021, from the date of the Constitution of 17th Lok Sabha."

Reley argued that Article 93 of the Constitution casts a mandatory constitutional obligation on the Speaker to fix a date for election of the Deputy Speaker. He stated that thereafter, a notice is issued by the Secretary-General to all members of the House for election. He emphasized that the expression use therein is "as soon as may be", which cannot by any stretch of imagination be extended a period of 2 years, as been done in this case.

"No discretion has been conferred on anybody not to elect the Deputy Speaker...The entire democratic structure in the House of the People rests on the shoulder of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker in absence of the Speaker, and members of the House of the People. There is close nexus between the democratic structure and fundamental rights of the people. Once this nexus is broken, it violates the fundamental rights of the people," the Petitioner argued.

ASG Chetan Sharma, appearing for the Centre sought time to seek instructions in the matter.

Case Title: Pawan Reley v. Speaker, Lok Sabha

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