New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Friday quashed the one-year suspension of 12 BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and termed the resolution of the Assembly 'unconstitutional and arbitrary'. "Suspending the MLAs beyond the sessions is unconstitutional and illegal," the Supreme Court said today.

The 12 BJP MLAs were suspended in July 2021 from the Assembly for one year after the state government accused them of abusing and manhandling the presiding officer Bhaskar Jadhav in the Speaker's chamber. 

Citing the rules, a Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and CT Ravikumar held that the suspension could only be limited to the duration of the Monsoon Session of the Assembly. As per the Assembly rules, MLAs could be suspended only for a session but the Maharashtra Assembly Speaker suspended the 12 MLAs for one year. 

“In conclusion, we have no hesitation in allowing these writ petitions and the impugned resolution suspending these members beyond the period of the remainder of the concerned Monsoon session held in July 2021 is non-est in the eyes of law, nullity, unconstitutional, substantially illegal and irrational,” a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said.

“The impugned resolution is thus declared to be ineffective in law in so far as the period beyond the stated session in which the resolution came to be passed,” the bench said.

On January 19, the top court reserved the verdict on petitions challenging the one-year suspension of the 12 BJP MLAs from the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly for their alleged misconduct and misbehaviour in the House in July, last year.

A battery of senior advocates -- Mahesh Jethmalani, Mukul Rohatgi, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, and Siddharth Bhatnagar -- argued for the suspended legislators. The senior advocates were assisted by advocates Siddharth Dharmadhikari and Abhikalp Pratap Singh. Senior advocate C.A. Sundaram, representing the Maharashtra government, argued the act of suspending a member from the Legislative Assembly for one year is not barred by the Constitution.

The petitioners' counsel contended that merely exercising inherent power can the House act contrary to the constitution, and no preliminary power can go beyond the Constitution or fundamental rights. The petitioners argued that there was no justification of suspension, which affects the right of the constituency. Rohatgi emphasized that the decision of 1-year suspension is grossly irrational, as there was non-compliance with natural justice.

The 12 MLAs Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Parag Alavani, Harish Pimpale, Yogesh Sagar, Jay Kumar Rawat, Narayan Kuche, Ram Satpute and Bunty Bhangdia were suspended for allegedly abusing and manhandling Speaker Bhaskar Jadhav in his chambers on the first day of the Monsoon Session 2021.

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan