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Speaker to hold open court on Sep 13 on crucial defection issue

Written by: Staff

Ranchi, Sep 11 (UNI) Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari today said he will hold an open court on September 13 on the anti-defection issue and give a decision then only, if possible.

Mr Namdhari's statement assumed importance after the Apex Court today refused to grant an interim stay to the three MLAs who are facing a disqualification notice from the Speaker.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Namdhari came down heavily on the critics who doubted his integrity as a Speaker.

''The SC also said the legislators should have replied to the notices'', he said, adding the Opposition must have got their reply from the highest court in the country.

As the hearing concluded today, the three MLAs sought more time to appear before the Speaker.

However, as the SC refused to grant an interim stay, the Speaker, this evening said he by all probability would try to give his verdict by September 13, a day before the crucial floor test for the Arjun Munda government.

Even if the SC had taken up the matter, he would not have any problem, he said, adding he would try to ensure that the floor test was conducted in a fair manner.

No ''illegible'' MLA should take part in the trial of strength, he said adding his prime duty was to see to it that such situation did not come again.

The notices were served to Kamlesh Singh, Anos Ekka (both rebel ministers), and Stephen Marandi (Ind) on September six.

Mr Kamlesh Singh, the only NCP legislator, along with Mr Hari Narain Rai, Mr Madhu Koda and Mr Anos Ekka(all independent MLAs) were ministers in Jharkhand government and resigned from the Munda cabinet on September reducing the BJP-led state government to a minority.

The Speaker had asked Mr Ekka, Mr Singh and Mr Marandi to explain by today, three days ahead of the September 14 floor test, why their membership should not be quashed.

The councel of Mr Ekka today represented him before the Speaker's court and cited ill health and sought time from the Speaker to appear before him.

Similarly, Kamlesh Singh and Stephen Marandi were also represented by their counsels and sought time to appear before him.

The UPA yesterday gheraoed Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari's residence here for a brief while.

Today, more than 1000 UPA activists were detained protesting the Speaker's action.


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