Case Summary

SHRIMANTH BALASAHEB PATIL VS HON’BLE SPEAKER(KARNATAKA ASSEMBLY)

FACTS:

  1. The petitioners were the elected members of the 15th Legislative assembly of Karnataka.
  2. Disqualification petition was charged against 4 elected members as they neither took part in a meeting conducted by the party nor participated in the proceedings of the assembly session.
  3. All the petitioners submitted their resignation, which the speaker denied to accept.
  4. 15 out of 17 petitioners had offered their resignation from the house before the Disqualification petition was made.
  5. A member of the parliament has the right to resign, no rule of law prevents him/her from doing so.
  6. The members have challenged their dismissal by the speaker but later, after a thorough analysis, it was held that they submitted their resignation voluntarily.
  7. Kihoto Hollohan case was a major precedent which was in hand and had more relevance to the current case.
  8. The Petitioners stated that the order of the speaker was unacceptable.
  9. Disqualification of the petitioners made them not to contest in elections of the remaining duration of 15th Legislative Assembly of Karnataka.

QUESTION OF LAW:

  1. Whether the resignation submitted by the members of the legislative assembly at a time earlier than petitions for their disqualification under 10th schedule of our Constitution.
  2. Article 164, 190, 191,212,361B and 10th schedule of our Constitution was challenged under this Petition.
  3. Disqualification may only one be challenged under Article 226, as this matter involves only statutory rights and whether this Writ Petition challenging the speaker is maintainable under Article 32 of Indian Constitution?
  4. Can a speaker reject the resignation made by the members of parliament and is that valid under the directions of our Constitution?
  5. If a Speaker has the power to disqualify, for what tenure he can do so or does he have the power to disqualify for the whole-term?
  6. Can the members invoke Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution which states “Right to freedom of Trade & Profession”?
  7. Whether to consider the terms “voluntary” & “genuine” under Article 190(3)(b) under Constitution, as it concerns the current matter.
  8. Is the current case in hand is similar to the case of Kihoto Hollohan and same judgement has to be given?

HELD:

  1. No fundamental Right is violated, therefore the matter won’t fall under the ambit of Article 19(1)(g).
  2. 10th Schedule was brought in to cure the evil of defection recognising the impact on our Democracy.
  3. The bench discussed the importance of party politics in a democracy and said that it is to be accepted if members resign for the stability of their opposition as good governance is not possible is the government is unstable.
  4. The Supreme Court approved the disqualification petition and also stated that their disqualification for the rest of the tenure is Unconstitutional.
  5. It was mentioned that “ Principle of Natural Justice is not a straitjacket formula” while the dismissal of the speaker’s decision to grant 3 days to Members to respond.
  6. It was held that both Article 164(1B) and 361B does not deny a person from contesting in the elections.
  7. It was explicitly stated that the speaker does not have any power to neither specify the period of disqualification nor deny a person from contesting in elections.
  8. The bench also stressed in reconsidering the strengthening aspects of 10th schedule, which can reduce practices which have taken place in this case and mentioned that speakers act against the constitutional duty of acting neutrally.

Submitted By: Karthi V S

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