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Speaker Can't Deny Pension & Other Benefits To MLAs While Disqualifying Them Under 10th Schedule : Supreme Court

Rintu Mariam Biju
29 Sep 2022 4:32 AM GMT
Speaker Cant Deny Pension & Other Benefits To MLAs While Disqualifying Them Under 10th Schedule : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday held that under the Xth Schedule of the Constitution, the Speaker of a Legislative Assembly does not have power to deny pension and other benefits available to a former MLA while deciding a disqualification plea against him.The Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justices Ravindra Bhat and JB Pardiwala was considering a set of appeals by then four JD(U)...

The Supreme Court of India on Wednesday held that under the Xth Schedule of the Constitution, the Speaker of a Legislative Assembly does not have power to deny pension and other benefits available to a former MLA while deciding a disqualification plea against him.

The Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, Justices Ravindra Bhat and JB Pardiwala was considering a set of appeals by then four JD(U) MLAs – Gyanendra Kumar Singh, Rabindra Rai, Neeraj Kumar Singh and Rahul Kumar, who were not only disqualified but also denied pensionary benefits on November 11, 2014 by the 15th Bihar Legislative Assembly Speaker.
The Bench observed,
"In our considered view, the Speaker was not within his jurisdiction to issue such directions (other than the direction of disqualification). We therefore, set aside the directions issued by the Speaker in Paragraph 28 of the order. We have not gone into the question of disqualification; all questions are left open."
Since the 15th Legislative Assembly is no longer functioning, and the 17th Legislative Assembly is currently going on, the Court observed that it need not go into the basic issue whether the order of disqualification issued by the speaker of the Assembly was correct or not.
According to the Bench, the only question before it was to consider the effect of the directions issued by the Speaker in his disqualification order (apart from the disqualification) i.e., denying pension and other benefits.
During the hearing, Senior Advocate Devdutt Kamat, appearing for the appellants submitted that the directions issued by the Speaker on November 1, 2014 went beyond the scope of his powers.
He relied on a Supreme Court decision- Shrimanth Balasaheb Patil vs Hon'ble Speaker Karnataka Legislative Assembly, the operative part of which reads.
"In exercise of his powers under the X schedule, the Speaker does not have the power either to indicate the period for which the person would stand disqualified or to bar someone from contesting in elections."
"Where does the Speaker get the power that pension can be withheld?", the Court asked the opposing counsel.
"They have been disqualified and the consequences flow in….", came the reply.
"We need not go into the issue of disqualification on the ground that whatever is there, whatever happened in Rome, happened there. Once you come out, it's not there….It's not a permanent disqualification or a debarment or something. All he is saying is pension need not be stopped", the Court orally observed.
"Pension and other emoulments", Kamat added.
"The Speaker says the above 4 Hon. Members will not get any facility. That is not sanctioned."
Case Title: Gyanendra Kumar Singh And Ors. Versus Bihar Legislative Assembly Patna And Ors | C.A. No. 5463-5464/2015 Xvi
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 808
Headnotes -
Summary - Under the Xth Schedule of the Constitution, the Speaker of a Legislative Assembly does not have power to deny pension and other benefits available to a former MLA while deciding a disqualification plea against him.
Constitution of India - 10th Schedule - the Speaker was not within his jurisdiction to issue directions other than those pertaining to disqualification-Shrimanth Balasaheb Patil v. Speaker, Karnataka Legislative Assembly & Others, (2020) 2 SCC 595- relied on.







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