New Delhi : Goa assembly Speaker Pratapsingh Rane Monday refused to accept the Supreme Court’s notice on the petitions by the two legislators who were controversially disqualified by him last month.
While refusing to accept the court notice issued Aug 6 and challenging the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, Rane, however, filed an affidavit before the bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan to deny the allegations made by the petitioners.
He had last month disqualified Maharshtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) legislators Pandurang Dhavalikar and Ramkishan Dhavalikar through an interim order ahead of a confidence vote.
“Out of deference to this court order (notice) of Aug 6, but without accepting the same or without accepting the jurisdiction of the court to determine matters arising within the house, I would only like to deny the allegations made in the petitions,” said Rane.
He said that the allegation that his order disqualifying the two legislators was “actuated by bias or that I had passed the order malafide is specifically denied”.
“It is also denied that order is perverse, malafide, unreasonable or capricious.”
Meanwhile, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat too filed an affidavit before the bench claiming that his government had already secured the confidence vote in the legislative assembly on July 30 and contended that the two dismissed legislators and the opposition now do not have the option to seek the apex court’s direction for a fresh floor test.
Kamat also contended that the decision of the two MGP legislators to withdraw their support to the Congress-led coalition government in Goa was contrary to the original decision of the political party to which they belong and therefore their decision was not of much consequence.
“A political party is always supreme and the legislators of that party are bound by the policies of that party,” the chief minister argued.
The MGP has only two legislators – the Dhavalikar brothers.
The bench, which also included Justice R.V. Raveendran, adjourned the hearing on the matter till Friday.
The Dhavalikar brothers’ counsel Mukul Rohatgi argued that the speaker’s order disqualifying the duo minutes before the vote was illegal.
He pleaded to the apex court to revoke the speaker’s interim order and issue directions for a fresh floor test.
The counsel for the Goa government and the chief minister, however, contended that the speaker was slated to have a hearing on the petition seeking disqualification of the Dhavalikar brothers Aug 16 and there was no need for the court to intervene in the matter.