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SC nod necessary for elections to 10 Lok Sabha seats

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 3: The Supreme Court today ruled that the elections to the 10 Lok Sabha seats, falling vacant due to the expulsion of the MPs involved in a cash-for-query scam, would only be held after seeking directions from it.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal, Mr Justice C K Thakker and Mr Justice R V Raveendran issued the direction while hearing the tranfer cases of the 10 expelled Lok Sabha members.

The court, also directed that the lone vacancy caused in the Rajya Sabha following the expulsion of one of its member can only be filled subject to the final outcome of the concerned case.

The court, however, ordered status quo with regard to eviction of the expelled MPs from their official accomodation.

It, however, refused to fix a date for early hearing, saying ''it will not be possible to spare the five judges of this court as already 38 constitution bench matters are awaiting hearing.'' The court, also issued notices to the Lok Sabha through its Secretariat on the petition of the expelled Lok Sabha members, whoes writ petitions have been transferred to this court from the Delhi High Court, in terms of order passed earlier by this court.

The apex court, directed the parties to file their counters within three weeks and rejoinders within two weeks thereafter.

Mr Chatterjee, had expelled the 10 MPs, who were caught accepting money for raising questions in Parliament, in a sting operation by a private TV news channel.

The petitioners were expelled from the house vide order dated December 23, 2005.

The matter has already been referred to the five-judge constitution bench. Mr Chatterjee, has already taken a stand of not to appear before the court in this regard as according to him, the court has no power to scrutinise such decisions as the same sell within the ambit of ''powers and previleges of the Parliament''.

The court, however, declined to issue any directions in so far as the discharge of duties by the petitioners are concerned and these duties include the release of funds from MP Local Area Development schemes.

Every Lok Sabha member is entitled to spend Rs two crore per year under the above mentioned scheme.

The court, also refused to fix any date for the hearing of the case.

UNI

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