‘Go to HC’: SC to Bengal BJP leader challenging decision on Mukul Roy

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea by BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari challenging the West Bengal Assembly Speaker order, who dismissed his petition seeking disqualification of Mukul Roy as an MLA.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and B.R. Gavai said: “After hearing counsel, we are of considered view that the petitioner can approach high court assailing the Speaker’s order.”

In June last year, Roy, a former BJP national Vice President, had defected to the Trinamool Congress. In the same month, Adhikari filed the petition before the Speaker seeking Roy’s disqualification.

The bench queried senior advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, representing Adhikari, which fundamental right of his client was violated.

“What is the extraordinary in this, what fundamental rights involved?” it asked as Vaidyanathan contended the Speaker’s decision was arbitrary.

The bench said in September last year, the high court made some observations and they would be treated as prima facie. It added that parties can take all contentions available to them under law.

On the aspect of Roy’s tenure as Chairman of Public Accounts Committee, the bench said it is only for one year, and asked the high court to decide the petitions expeditiously. “Not later than a period of one month,” it said.

In February, Speaker Biman Banerjee dismissed the petition filed by Leader of the Opposition Adhikari seeking Roy’s disqualification as an MLA under the anti-defection law. The petition claimed that he switched sides after elections.

Earlier, the high court had asked Banerjee to take a decision on the petition for disqualification of Roy as a member of the House.

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