SC begins hearing of BSP MLAs case
New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) Opening the arguments on behalf of 42 BSP MLAs of Uttar Pradesh challenging their disqualification under the anti-defection law, senior counsel Harish Salve today submitted before the five judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court that Allahabad high court judgment dated February 28,2006 was not sustainable under the law and deserved to be set aside.
The high court had declared illegal the action of 47 BSP MLAs who had defected from their original party to form a new group called Loktantrik Bahujan Dal(BLD) to enable Mulayam Singh Yadav to cobble up a majority to form his government in the state in August 2003.
All the MLAs later joined Samajwadi Party (SP) headed by Mr Yadav and were made either ministers or the chairmen of the state boards which clearly amounts to engineering defections through corrupt means and allurements, according to the complainant.
A five judge bench comprising Justices K G Balakrishnan, H K Sema, A R Lakshmanan, P K Balasubramanyan and D K Jain shall continue the hearing tomorrow.
Salve also pleaded that the main issue involved in the case is whether the date of complaint or the date of Assembly Speaker's decision was relevant for taking into account the strength of the breakaway group.
The total strength of the breakaway group on August 26,2003 was only 13 and the then Speaker Kesrinath Tripathi waited till September 6,2003 by which the total strength of the breakaway group had gone upto 37.
Salve also contended that if one has to walk away he has to walk away from his parent party and not only on a particular issue.
UNI AKS/SC RP RS2011