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Friday, January 21, 2022

Delhi HC to not advance hearing of Lok Sabha deputy speaker election plea

🔴 The post has remained vacant for more than two years.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: December 3, 2021 5:40:11 am
Delhi High Court (File)

THE DELHI High Court on Thursday declined to advance the date of hearing of a petition seeking immediate election for filling the post of the Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha. The post has remained vacant for more than two years.

“Looking at the facts and circumstances of the case, we see no reason to entertain this CM [application for early hearing of writ petition]. On the next date of hearing, we will hear the parties to this litigation,” said the division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh.

The petitioner, Pawan Reley, has sought a direction for holding the election for the post and a direction to the Speaker to specify a date. “This petition involves the questions of highest constitutional importance in relation to the inaction of the Constitutional functionaries and in evading their Constitutional duties in not holding the election of the Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha,” he has said in the plea.

On Thursday, he told the court that the case was listed on November 29 but the bench did not assemble that day and the case was adjourned to February 28. “For any ordinary matter, I could have waited for two monts but this case involves a substantial question of law relating to interpretation of the constitution where half of the tenure of the Deputy Speaker has already gone,” submitted Reley.

However, the court did not accede to the request and said it will hear the matter in February, the date already fixed.

Reley in his petition further said that it was the first time in the history of the Indian republic that the office of Deputy Speaker had remained vacant for 830 days and contended that it was a mandatory Constitutional obligation to fill the position. “No discretion has been conferred on anybody not to elect the Deputy Speaker. It is submitted that Deputy Speaker is not subordinate to the Speaker but holds an independent position and is answerable to the House alone,” the petition argues.

Rule 8 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Lok Sabha casts primary duty on the Speaker to fix the date for the election, said Reley. “The entire democratic structure in the House of the People rests on the shoulders of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker in absence of the Speaker, and members of the House of the People. There is a close nexus between the democratic structure and fundamental rights of the people. Once this nexus is broken, it violates the fundamental rights of the people,” contends the petition.

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