SC refuses to revisit 1996 verdict o n anti-defection law

NEW DELHI: The historic 1996 verdict on the anti-defection law holding that a nominated or elected lawmaker of a political party is bound by its whip even after expulsion, will remain in force as the Supreme Court today refused to revisit the judgement.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi disposed of pleas filed by UP politician Amar Singh, Bollywood actor-turned politician Jaya Prada and Pyarimohan Mohapatra who was expelled from BJD. Amar Singh and Jaya Prada, who were members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively, were expelled by Samajwadi Party.
“The petitioner MPs have already completed their tenure.
It would be more appropriate to not answer the question,” the bench, also comprising Justices P C Pant and Arun Mishra, said, adding that their pleas have now become “infructuous”.
“Though we have heard the matter at length, we are not answering the question,” it said.
Fearing disqualification after expulsion, the petitioners had raised the question whether expelled lawmakers are amenable to the whip of the party on whose ticket they got elected in the light of the 1996 verdict which had held that the 10th Schedule of Constitution does not recognise “unattached” MPs/MLAs. The expelled lawmakers continue to be the part of the party on whose ticket they get elected, the verdict had said.
The apex court was to decide the question whether an expelled member could be disqualified under the law, if he or she defies a party whip.
While Singh and Jaya Prada were expelled from SP on February 2, 2010, Mohapatra was driven out of BJD in 2012.
Singh and Jaya Prada had argued that the interpretation of the anti-defection law, as per 1996 ruling in the G Vishwanathan case, does not apply to them as they had neither resigned from the party nor had floated one on their own.
The Centre had also submitted that a member elected or nominated by a political party continues to be under its control even after expulsion.

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