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Supreme Court Adjourns Plea Seeking Expeditious Decision On Disqualification Petition Against 10 BJP MLAs In Goa Assembly

Radhika Roy
4 Jan 2021 6:52 AM GMT
Supreme Court Adjourns Plea Seeking Expeditious Decision On Disqualification Petition Against 10 BJP MLAs In Goa Assembly
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The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned to February a plea filed by Goa Congress Chief Girish Chodankar seeking for a direction to the Goa Assembly Speaker to dispose of the disqualifaction which has been filed against 10 MLAs who moved from Congress to Bharatiya Janta Party expeditiously.Chodankar has approached the Court submitting that despite express orders from the Supreme Court on...

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The Supreme Court on Monday adjourned to February a plea filed by Goa Congress Chief Girish Chodankar seeking for a direction to the Goa Assembly Speaker to dispose of the disqualifaction which has been filed against 10 MLAs who moved from Congress to Bharatiya Janta Party expeditiously.

Chodankar has approached the Court submitting that despite express orders from the Supreme Court on 11 August, 2020 that the plea should be listed after two weeks, the plea was not being listed by the Supreme Court Registry.

A Bench comprising of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and, Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian heard the matter and informed the Counsels that "no one could have a vested right in delay".

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Chodankar, informed the Bench that the disqualification petition had been filed in 2019, and one and a half years had gone by with the Goa Assembly Speaker not having taken a decision.

"A judgement of this Supreme Court now states that the Speaker must decide at the earliest. The Speaker must decide now", submitted Sibal referring to the last year's decision in Keisham Meghachandra Singh v. The Hon'ble Speaker Manipur Legislative Assembly & Ors which set a 3-month time line for the Speaker to decide on disqualifications.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Speaker, submitted that the matter would be taken up by the Speaker on merits. To this, Sibal responded that the Speaker must decide the matter immediately, not on merits.

At this juncture, CJI Bobde noted that "no one could have a vested right in delay" and proceeded to adjourn the matter to February.

The petition, filed against the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly and ten MLAs, states that the MLAs had shifted from Congress to BJP. Accordingly, a disqualification petition was filed against them for defection before the Speaker. However, despite the same having been filed in 2019, the plea is yet to be heard.

On 11 August, 2020, a Bench headed by CJI Bobde ordered for the listing of the matter after a period of two weeks. Chodankar, the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President, then approached the Court in November, submitting in his plea that despite being listed in the tentative hearing list 18 times since August 2020, his plea never made it to the final list.


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