SUPREME COURT: POWER OF DISQUALIFICATION OF MLA LIES WITH SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE

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The Supreme Court has held that the power to disqualify a member of Parliament or MLA under tenth schedule of the constitution lies only with the speaker of the house and no one else.

A bench comprising Justices D K Jain and R M Lodha while dismissing the petition of a defeated candidate also imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on the appellant G S Iqbal who had challenged the election of DMK MP from Vellore Lok Sabha constituency K M Khader Mohideen.

According to the petitioner, Iqbal Khader had misled the voters of his constituency by giving false information in his nomination papers that he belonged to DMK party and has concealed the fact that he is in fact the state president of Tamil Nadu Indian Muslim League which is a recognised political party in Kerala.

The petitioner is himself the general secretary of DMK.

The designated election judge had dismissed the election petition filed by Mr Iqbal and Madras High Court also dismissed his petition vide judgment dated March 28, 2006.

The apex court in its judgment noted, ‘the speaker of the house is, accordingly, a competent statutory authority to decide the question as to whether the member of a house has become subject to disqualification under the 10th schedule.

The question relating to disqualification under tenth schedule has to be decided by the speaker and no one else.

The decision of the speaker in this regard is final, however, subject to judicial review on the permissible ground.’ The election had taken place on May 10 in 2004.

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