Vice-President and Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu is likely to disqualify JD(U) leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar from the House soon, sources said here on Tuesday. Their disqualification has been sought by JD(U) floor leader in the Rajya Sabha Ram Chandra Prasad Singh under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.
The Rajya Sabha secretariat had served Yadav and Anwar notices last month to respond to Singh’s allegations against them. It had also forwarded copies of the petition to them for reference. The two members from Bihar had sought a month’s extension for sending their response, but had been given one more week. Finally, they submitted their replies on September 22.
The sources indicated that contrary to a general impression that the chairman would refer the complaint to the Ethics Committee for preliminary examination, Naidu was likely to take his decision on the basis of the material placed before him. The sources pointed out that an investigation by the committee could be required if it was a case of corruption or irregularity. But in this matter there was nothing to be probed and all relevant facts were on record. The two sides had publicly split and the chairman had to adjudicate the matter in the light of the legal provisions clearly laid.
According to the Rajya Sabha At Work: “If any question arises as to whether a member of the House has become subject to disqualification under the Tenth Schedule, the question is referred to the Chairman, Rajya Sabha, and his decision is final. All proceedings in this regard are deemed to be proceedings of Parliament within the meaning of Article 122 of the Constitution and the jurisdiction of courts in respect of any matter connected with the disqualification of a member of the House under that Schedule is barred.” There is no legal requirement of a reference of the petition to the Ethics Committee, which, incidentally, awaits a reconstitution. The outgoing committee is headed by veteran Congress leader Karan Singh.
Clause 2 (1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule says that “a member of a House belonging to any political party shall be disqualified for being a member of the House if he has voluntarily given up his membership of such political party….”
Seven of the 10 Rajya Sabha members of the JD(U) had earlier removed Sharad as their leader and elected Singh in his place.