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Breakaway BSP MLAs allowed to function as independent group

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) The Supreme Court today allowed the breakaway group of 32 BSP MLAs to function as an independent group in the UP assembly as per order of the assembly speaker dated September 6,2003 till further orders in order to preserve their political status.

It virtually assured a full term for the Mulayam Singh government in UP.

A bench comprising Mr. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Mr. Justice P.P.Naolekar referring the petitions challenging the impugned judgment of Allahabad high court dated Feb.28, holding their defection from BSP as illegal and unconstitutional,to a larger bench refused to fix an early date of hearing in the matter.

Out of 37 MLAs five have resigned from the ministry and chairmanship of statre Boards and returned back to BSP subsequebnt to high court judgment. The court permitted the five MLAs to function as BSP MLAs.

The court, however stayed all the proceedings pending before the UP state assembly speaker for deciding the status of breakaway group MLAs as per the high court order.

The court refused early hearing despite repeated request from the BSP senior counsel K.K. Venugopal who pleaded that the appeals may become infructous as the remaining life of the present assembly is about 6 months only.

Venugopal also opposed the plea for interim stay on the ground that all defecting MLAs were made ministers and chairmen of the boards and Speaker also bungled in deciding the issue as on August 26,2003 the strength of breakaway group was only 13 and they were fully covered by the provisions of anti-defection law.But the speaker waited till Sept.6, 2003 when the number of defectors went up to 37 and complaint of BSP against 13 MLAs filed on Sept.4,2003 was also not decided deliberately.

Senior counsel for the petitioners Harish Salve, however, pleaded for interim stay against the impugned high court judgment on the grounds that the petitioners do not know to which party they belonged to in case a whip is issued as their joining Samajwadi party after forming Loktantrik Bahujan Dal(LBD)has been declared illegal by the high court.

UNI AKS/SC RP KN1920

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