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State Legislators are not disqualified from Holding Posts in Committees or Society: Karnataka High Court.

Karnataka High Court said that Member of the State Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council is not disqualified from holding the post of Chairman of any Committee or of any society. This was seen in the case of HARISH A.S. v. STATE OF KARNATAKA.( W.P. NO.18278 OF 2021 C/W W.P. NO.19421 OF 2021) and the judgement was presided by A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S Vishwajith Shetty.

Facts of the case-

Referring to the provisions of the Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976, the petitioner contended that the Chairman who is a sitting MLA cannot be a whole time member of the Authority and therefore, is ineligible to hold the post. In addition, no method of appointment was prescribed for appointment to the posts of Engineer, Finance and Town Planner Members of the Authority.

Thereafter A writ of quo warranto was sought prohibiting the MLA and respondent Nos.5 to 7 from performing the duties of the post of Chairman, Engineer, Finance and the Town Planner Members of the Authority was filed.

Judgement-

The bench ordered that in view of Article 191(1)(a) of the Constitution of India, the State Legislature has enacted the Karnataka Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1956 to declare certain office of profit not to disqualify their holders for being chosen as or for being Members of Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.

Further it found out that section 3(d) of the 1956 Act provides that Members of Karnataka Legislative Assembly or Karnataka Legislative Council would not be disqualified to hold the post of Chairman or Member of the Committee. It said ““Thus, from conjoint reading of the provisions of Sections 2(a) and 3(d) of the 1956 Act, it is evident that Chairman is not disqualified to hold the post of Chairman of the Authority. It is worth mentioning that the issue with regard to disqualification of the Chairman is pending adjudication before His Excellency the Governor under Article 192 of the Constitution of India. For the aforementioned reasons, the writ of mandamus was sought for by the petitioner in W.P. No.19421/2021 to take a time bound action to disqualify the Chairman as Member of Karnataka Legislative Assembly cannot be granted.”.

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Judgement reviewed by Alaina Fatima

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