The Supreme Court today said unattached members of a legislative assembly or Parliament are entitled to vote and cannot be prevented from voting.
“Unattached members can vote. There is nothing which prevents them from voting”,a bench of justices Altamas Kabir and J Chelameshwar said while dealing with the Haryana Assembly Speaker’s petition challenging the High Court order disallowing six HJC MLAs from joining the state’s ruling Congress.
The apex court cited its earlier ruling the Ravi Naik (Goa Assembly) case that even if a member is declared to be unattached,he or she is still entitled to vote.
The bench made the remarks after Solicitor General Rohington Nariman,appearing for the Speaker,criticised the High Court order as being erroneous and contrary to law as it had curtailed the powers of the six MLAs including their voting rights.
The apex court had earlier stayed a Punjab and Haryana High Court order which temporarily disallowed five Haryana Janhit Congress MLAs from joining ruling Congress till the Assembly Speaker took a decision on the disqualification
The Speaker submitted the high court’s direction “ex facie suffers some lack of jurisdiction and non-application of mind to the settled law.”
Nariman submitted the high court has no jurisdiction to declare a member as unattached as the power is vested only with the Speaker.