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Courts have no Jurisdiction to interfere with Speaker’s order

The Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan in Bahujan Samaj Party Vs. Hon’ble Speaker, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly (S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 8056/2020) held that the court has no jurisdiction in interfering with the order of the speaker in allowing the merger of 6 MLAs of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with the Congress as it was an administrative order. The Hon’ble Court after examining the matter held that the impugned order was not a “decision” under paragraph 4 of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, which deals with anti-defection.

While examining the question on the scope of courts interference in such a case, the Hon’ble court referred to Kihoto Hollohan V. Zachillhu, wherein it was held that the speaker is sole repository of the adjudicatory power under paragraph 6 of the Tenth Schedule to decide the question of disqualification. The hon’ble court observed “the speaker, who enjoys a very high constitutional status, its sole authority to delve upon the question of disqualification and while doing so, he acts as a quasi-judicial review on limited parameters as prescribed in the case of Kihoto. The court acquires jurisdiction only upon determination on the question of disqualification and not prior to that except in exceptional circumstances not obtaining in the present case.” It was further observed by the Hon’ble court the being an administrative order in nature, it is immune to judicial review as per Article 212 of the Constitution, and that no exceptional circumstances exist in the present case to warrant the courts interference.

The court also dealt with another plea which challenged an order dated 22.07.20 by the speaker through which the speaker rejected a disqualification petition by an MLA on the ground of Rajasthan Assembly Rules, 1989. While relying on the decision in Dr. Mahachandra Prasad Singh v. Chairman, Bihar Legislative Assembly, the Court held that the order was not legally sustainable, hence the order of the speaker dated 22.07.20 was set aside.

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