Speaker to give verdict on 11 MLAs accused of anti-defection

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Ranchi, Oct 20 (UNI) Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Alamgir Alam today made it clear that he would pronounce verdict on 11 legislators framed under anti-defection law, after the argument of all the accused was completed.

He said such procedure would be concluded in the first week of December.

The Speaker heard the case of Rural Development Minister Enos Ekka, one of the eleven incriminated legislators.

The Speaker reserved his ruling after hearing both the petitioner and defence, stating that he would give his verdict only after the argument of the rest would be over.

The case dates back to the political crisis of 1995 in Jharkhand when the MLAs allegedly shifted loyalty, by defying party whips to the formation of Arjun Munda-led NDA governments, ousting the Shibu Soren-led UPA government.

Ekka was accused of supporting the NDA defying the Jharkhand Party's whip.

However, his lawyer said Ekka did not come under the anti-defection law since the whip was issued single-handedly by the then party president N E Horo, without the JP's central executive committee's approval.

On the other hand, petitioner's counsel countered the charge claiming that political manoeuvring was engineered to cause split in the party.

This led to the suspension of Mr Horo on the grounds of anti-party activities which was unconstitutional, the counsel maintained.

The next case would be heard on October 25, in which Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Martandi is the accused.

UNI PRS SB KK RN1733

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