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Himachal Speaker disqualifies 6 Cong MLAs for violating anti-defection law

Himachal Speaker disqualifies 6 Cong MLAs for violating anti-defection law

Shimla, Feb 29 (UNI) Six Himachal Pradesh Congress MLAs who had defied the party whip and remained absent during the passing of the financial bills were disqualified by the Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania after applying the provision of the anti-defection law on Thursday.
Pathania, discharging his duties as chairman of the Speaker's Tribunal as laid out under the 10th schedule of the Indian Constitution, which defines the anti-defection law, said that the six MLAs who defied the party whip twice have attractive penal provisions of the anti defection legislation.
The respondents attracted disqualification under Paragraph 2 of the ADL, and therefore ceased to be members of the House.
On Wednesday, the Speaker reserved the decision in the petition for disqualification moved by the Congress Legislature Party against the six MLAs for defying the party whip twice during discussion on finance or money bills, leading to a lack of quorum on Tuesday.
The MLAs involved are Rajinder Rana, Sudhir Sharma, Ravi Thakur, Inderdut Lakhanpal, Chetanya Sharma, and Devinder Bhutto. It has been alleged that they violated the whip issued by the Congress party twice, due to which their membership may be cancelled under the anti-defection law laid out in the tenth schedule of the Indian Constitution.
The matter was filed before the House on Tuesday, as notices were served to the six MLAs. The same were received by them, after which the hearing was held on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to around 6:30 p.m. Senior Advocate Kamat represented the Congress legislative party, and Senior Advocate Satpal Jain represented the six MLAs. After hearing the arguments from senior counsels of both parties, the decision was reserved by the Speaker on Wednesday.
As a result of the cross-voting, Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress lost the Rajya Sabha poll to BJP's Harsh Mahajan. Both contesting candidates got 34 votes each, and later the decision had to be taken through a draw of a lots, in which luck favoured the BJP candidate.
The Anti-Defection Law was included in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution in 1985 by the 52nd Amendment Act. It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the presiding officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House. The law applies to both Parliament and the state assemblies. UNI ML ARN SY SSP

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