If an MLA empties revolver in Assembly, is House supreme on this: SC on Kerala House ruckus
The Supreme Court on Thursday wondered, is it in public interest to damage the sanctum sanctorum of democracy and justify to claim that House is supreme authority on the matter. The top court made this observation during the hearing of the Kerala government's plea seeking court's nod to withdraw cases against CPI(M) leaders, including education minister V. Sivankutty, for vandalism in the state Assembly in 2015, when the current ruling party was in the Opposition.
The Kerala government submitted before a bench comprising justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah that the House has the prerogative to take action against MLAs for creating a ruckus in the Assembly in 2015. Justice Chandrachud asked senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, representing the Kerala government, "Suppose an MLA whips out a revolver in the Assembly and also empties his revolver. Can you say House is supreme on this?" The bench clarified it is not possible to carry a weapon inside the Assembly, but it cited this example to carefully examine the issue before the court.
Justice Chandrachud further asked the Kerala government, was it in public interest or in service of public justice to seek withdrawal of prosecution against the MLAs, who have damaged the sanctum-sanctorum of democracy? He reiterated, is it justified?
Citing the heated arguments between lawyers, often witnessed in the Supreme Court, Justice Chandrachud said: "look at the courts. Tempers are lost, lawyers opposing each other in court. Would that justify, if court property is damaged?" The top court will continue to hear matter after lunch.
On July 5, the top court had said the unruly behaviour of law makers in Parliament and Assembly cannot be condoned and they should face trail for destroying public property inside the House.
The Kerala government has cited privileges and immunity to MLAs and urged the top court to drop cases against the Left leaders.
The Kerala High Court, in an order passed on March 12, had refused to give its nod saying that the elected representatives are expected to uphold prestige of the House or face consequences. The MLAs had vandalised Speaker's dais, uprooted his chair, pulled out mike system, computer etc. The special leave petition filed by the state government said: "When Article 105(3), 194(3) of the Constitution of India confers certain privileges and immunities to the members of the Parliament and State Legislature, is it proper to the Secretary of Legislative Assembly to file cases against the MLAs with regard to an incident happened on the floor of the House during the protest made by the opposition members, that too without the consent of the Speaker of the Assembly?"-IANS
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