SC set to decide tomorrow whether an MP, expelled by the party, has to suffer the rigour of Anti-Defection Act

SC set to decide tomorrow whether an MP, expelled by the party, has to suffer the rigour of Anti-Defection Act

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Arun Mishra and Prafulla C Pant, will deliver its order tomorrow in the case of Amar Singh v Union of India.

In 2010, the Samajwadi Party, expelled its Rajya Sabha member, Amar Singh, and its Lok Sabha member from Rampur, Jaya Prada, for anti-party activities. Soon thereafter, both Amar Singh and Jaya Prada, moved the Supreme Court under Article 32, stating that their continuance as Members of Parliament was threatened because of an erroneous decision of the Supreme Court earlier in G.Viswanathan case. [(1996)2 SCC 353]

In G.Viswanathan, the Supreme Court had held that a legislator expelled from the party on whose ticket he was elected, would be deemed to belong to that party unless he or she voluntarily quit that party, so as to suffer disqualification as a Member.

This meant that a Member, expelled by a party, on whose ticket he was elected, would be subjected to the directions of the party whip, and such a Member could suffer disqualification, on the ground of violation of that whip.

Amar Singh and Jaya Pradha, therefore, sought a reconsideration of the Supreme Court’s judgment inG.Viswanathan by a larger bench. Till such time, they sought the Court’s protection from disqualification, to ensure that they did not suffer the consequences of the judgment laid down inG.Viswanathan. 

The bench, comprising justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph, had on November 15, 2010, granted their prayer, and referred the matter to a three-Judge bench, with seven specific questions.

In 2012, Pyarimohan Mohapatra, Rajya Sabha Member, who was expelled from Biju Janata Dal, filed a similar petition seeking the Supreme Court's reconsideration of G.Viswanathan, to rectify the anomaly created by it. The three-Judge bench heard the three petitions, filed by Amar Singh, Jaya Pradha and Mohapatra together.

During the hearing the Court wanted to know from the counsel, how the category of unattached members, to refer to those expelled from their parties, could be valid, and how they could be immune from the rigours of the anti-defection Act.

The three-judge bench had reserved the judgment on February 15 this year. Senior advocate, C.U.Singh argued for Amar Singh, while Additional Solicitor General, P.S.Narasimha made submissions on behalf of the UOI.