Supreme Court dismisses petition against Mayawati


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed a public interest litigation challenging the appointment of Mayawati as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh without her resigning from the Rajya Sabha.

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A vacation bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and P.P. Naolekar held that there was no merit in the petition as the Supreme Court had already settled the law on this point while dealing with similar petitions.

The bench had reserved orders on June 11 after hearing a Lucknow-based advocate, Ashok Pandey, who filed a petition asking under what authority the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader continued as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh while retaining her Rajya Sabha membership.

The petition also questioned the appointment of Satish Chandra Mishra as a minister in Mayawati's cabinet on the same grounds.

Besides, it challenged the continuation of all state ministers as the governor had appointed them on the advice of a disqualified and unconstitutionally appointed chief minister.

Pandey sought a direction quashing the appointments of Mayawati and Mishra, contending that they had usurped their offices. He wanted that all decisions taken by her government be declared null and void.

The petitioner said: "The constitution permits a non-legislator to become the Prime Minister, Chief Minister or Minister in case he or she undertakes to contest the election and become a legislator within a period of six months.

"But since both Mayawati and Mishra are already MPs of Rajya Sabha, they were not entitled to claim their appointment under the non-legislator class unless they resign their membership of parliament and become a non-legislator."

He cited earlier instances when a MP had been appointed chief minister and said politicians were continuing unconstitutional acts.

The apex court must determine the constitutionality of MPs becoming chief ministers without resigning as parliamentarians. According to the petition, such appointments would also offend the office of profit law since a MP could not get pay and allowances both as a member of parliament and a minister in a state.