The Congress Saturday hit out at Attorney-General Mukul Rohatgi who has given a legal opinion to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan that the Congress should not be granted the post of Leader of Opposition as the party does not have the numbers. The Congress said the A-G’s opinion was “untenable” and alleged he has sought to “please his political masters”.
“The opinion of the A-G is astonishing. It is totally flawed interpretation of the law and it has become very clear the government of the day is seeking to influence the decision of the Speaker in furtherance of its partisan politics,” Congress leader Anand Sharma said.
The law, he said, was clear and there is no ambiguity. “There is only one law which has been enacted by Parliament which defines the Leader of Opposition — the 1977 Salaries and Allowances Act. And that law does not say anything about the requisite strength. Unless and until any other Act is made to negate or nullify that Act, the 1977 Act stands,” he said.
He said the A-G being a “political appointee” has given this “apology of an opinion” to “please his political masters” who have appointed him. He said his opinion was “untenable” and will not stand legal scrutiny.
Sharma also accused the government of “trying to pressurise” Mahajan on the LoP issue even as he urged her to take a “fair” decision.
The A-G in his opinion is learnt to have pointed out that the rules framed by Speaker of the first Lok Sabha G V Mavlankar makes it clear that the post of the LoP should go to the leader of the party that has the numbers equivalent to the quorum of Lok Sabha — 10 per cent of the total strength which comes to 55 MPs.