Gangtok: Sikkim Legislative Assembly Speaker LB Das on Tuesday rejected the petition for disqualification of 12 MLAs of Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) on the grounds of lack of materials in support of their defection.
The petition was filed by Nawin Kiran Pradhan, vice-convenor of Sikkim Subject Committee, on August 30 at Sikkim Legislative Assembly under Article 191(2) and Para 2(1)(a) read with 6(1) of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India stating it as a shameful & unconstitutional step by the MLAs.
Out of defecting 12 MLAs, 10 from SDF had joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in New Delhi on August 13, while two legislators of the opposition party had switched allegiance to the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) a day later on August 14.
“It is a black day for democracy. Earlier, the party who showed their support when we filed a similar petition against seven defectors is now rejecting our plea just because they are now in the ruling front. Hence, it’s proved that SKM is worse than Sikkim Democratic Front SDF,” stressed petitioner Pradhan.
He further added that Sikkim’s future is doomed with such “unprincipled” leaders and as a soldier of democracy, he would take this fight to the next level.
Advocate S Chatterjee said the decision of the Speaker is the mockery of the Constitution and the 10th schedule. “There may be a rejection and we accept it but the reason given by the Speaker is really funny. Without any hearing how can he say that there is no material of the defectors joining the parties. The entire nation through media has seen them selling the public mandate by joining other parties. Speaker should act independently & judiciously. Under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution, this is reviewable order by the judiciary. Therefore, we announce to file the application in High Court and challenge the decision made,” said Chatterjee.
Pradhan, along with other petitioners, had filed a similar petition in 2017 to the then Speaker KN Rai against seven defected MLAs from SKM to SDF which is still pending.