The Supreme Court on Monday told the West Bengal Assembly Speaker to expeditiously decide on the petition seeking disqualification of Mukul Roy after his defection from BJP to TMC.
A bench of justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.V. Nagarathna adjourned the matter to the third week of January. The bench orally expressed concern over delay in taking decisions on disqualification of defecting legislators under the anti-defection laws. The top court was informed that the Speaker has fixed the next hearing on the disqualification petition on December 21.
At the beginning of the hearing, the bench asked the West Bengal government counsel whether the high court passed any order on October 7. The counsel informed the top court that it adjourned the matter on account of plea in the Supreme Court.
The bench noted that there are so many cases where there is delay by the Speaker, and the court is often told to stay away and allow the Speaker to decide.
The top court was hearing petitions, which included a petition by the Speaker of the West Bengal Assembly, challenging the Calcutta High Court order asking him to consider Roy’s disqualification under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. In September, the high court had asked the Speaker to decide on disqualification of Roy by October 7 or it would itself take a call on the matter. The high court had passed this order on a plea filed by BJP MLA Ambika Roy.
In the plea, Ambika Roy had challenged Mukul Roy’s appointment as assembly’s PAC (Public Accounts Committee) chairman, a post which is reserved for the Opposition leader. Roy joined the BJP in 2017, but left it for TMC on June 11.