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Speaker welcomes SC suggestion on MLA disqualification petitions

Panaji: Speaker of the state legislative assembly Rajesh Patnekar on Wednesday welcomed the recent recommendation of the Supreme Court to the Parliament as regards setting up a permanent tribunal to decide cases under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

“Parliament may seriously consider amending the Constitution to substitute Speaker of Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies as arbiter of disqualification issues with a permanent tribunal headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court, or some other mechanism to ensure swift and impartial decisions,” the Supreme Court had said.

Informally speaking to pressmen, Patnekar said that if the Parliament follows this recommendation then the needle of suspicion pointing towards the Speaker as regards his partisan role in deciding the disqualification petitions before him vis-à-vis his affiliation to a political party, will cease to exist. “However, I really don’t know whether the Supreme Court can make recommendations to the Parliament or not,” he added.

Speaking further, Patnekar said that the legislature secretariat of the state legislative assembly has received 814 questions – 205 starred questions and 609 un-starred questions – from MLAs, in view of the forthcoming budget session of the House. “We have also received five private members resolutions,” he added.

It was also informed that the Speaker’s office has moved the file for holding the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting related to the budget session. The BAC will decide on the date for presentation of the annual financial statement for the year 2020-21.

The budget session of the state legislative assembly is scheduled to be held from February 3 to 7.

Meanwhile, highly placed sources informed that the allegations made by Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai and Porvorim legislator Rohan Khaunte as regards questions submitted by them for being taken up during the upcoming budget session of the state legislative assembly going missing, are incorrect.

The sources maintained that if same questions are asked by any legislator under both, starred as well as un-starred categories, then in order to avoid duplication, these questions are removed from one of the two categories.

It was also informed that questions pertaining to sub-committees set up by the House as also questions targeting individual persons are not allowed as the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the House do not permit them.

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