Only Legislature Can File Writ Appeal Against Single Bench Order Setting Aside Expulsion Of MLAs, Says HC [Read Judgment]

Only Legislature Can File Writ Appeal Against Single Bench Order Setting Aside Expulsion Of MLAs, Says HC [Read Judgment]

It is only the State Legislature which can prefer an appeal, if it is aggrieved by the order of the Learned Single Judge interdicting its decision to expel the respondent-writ petitioners as members of the House.

Declining to entertain a writ appeal filed by 12 legislators against a single bench order that had set aside the resolution of the Telangana Legislative Assembly expelling two members, the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh observed that it is only the State Legislature which can prefer an appeal.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Kongara Vijaya Lakshmi observed that the right to expel a member from the House is conferred on the Legislative Assembly as a body created under the Constitution, and no member can claim any individual right, power or privilege to have another member expelled from the House.

Two MLAs Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and SA Sampath Kumar were expelled from Telangana Legislative Assembly. The single bench had set aside the expulsion, against which 12 other MLAs led by Vemula Prashanth Reddy had approached the high court. The issue that propped up during the hearing was whether the legislators who sought leave to appeal are persons aggrieved entitled for grant of leave to prefer the appeal under clause 15 of the letters patent.

Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan, who appeared for the applicants-legislators, contended that as they were part of the Telangana State Legislature and had participated in the proceedings, which resulted in the expulsion of two MLAs, they have locus standi to challenge the decision of the single judge setting aside the resolution of the Assembly.  Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for the legislators whose expulsion was set aside by the single judge.

The bench concluded: “It is only the State Legislature which can prefer an appeal, if it is aggrieved by the order of the Learned Single Judge interdicting its decision to expel the respondent-writ petitioners as members of the House. The possibility of the applicants-appellants being remotely or indirectly affected by the order under appeal, as they had voted in favour of the resolution passed by the House, would not justify an appeal being entertained at their behest.”

The court further said in the absence of any power or privilege being conferred on an individual member of the House to have another member expelled from the House, the individual MLAs cannot claim to have the constitutional right under Article 194(3) to have another member of the Legislative Assembly expelled.

Read the Judgment Here