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Decision of the Speaker of disqualification relates back to the date of the complaint - subsequent events in peculiar facts can also be considered in Writ Petition; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Ashok Bhushan & Justice M. R. Shah

The SC on March 19, 2020 {RAM CHANDRA PRASAD SINGH v. SHARAD YADAV} held that the disqualification is incurred by member of the House as soon as he has voluntarily given up his membership of political party. It was held that decision by the Speaker taken at a subsequent point of time cannot and does not postpone his incurring of disqualification by the act of the legislature. It was further held that decision of the Speaker that a member is disqualified relates back to the date of the disqualifying action complained of. 

It was held that the facts and sequence of the events on the basis of which Hon’ble Chairman came to the conclusion that a person has incurred disqualification under paragraph 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule are all facts, which had occurred prior to adjudication by the Hon’ble Chairman. In the facts of the present case, it was held that the Chairman of Rajya Sabha has passed the order on 04.12.2019 on the claim of the appellant praying for disqualification as noticed above. It was held that the foundation of order of the Chairman are the facts and events, which took place after 26.07.2017. It was held that the petition having been filed by the appellant on 02.09.2017, petition has to be treated to be founded on facts and events, which took place on or before 02.09.2017.

Further held that additional evidence, which is sought to be brought on record of the writ petition was not the basis for seeking disqualification of the respondent, hence, there is no error in the order of the High Court rejecting the application. It was held that in a writ petition under Article 226 subsequent events can be taken note of for varied purposes. It was held that an event or a conduct of a person even though subsequent to passing of an order of Speaker or Chairman ordinarily may not be relevant for determining the validity of the order of the Speaker or Chairman but in a case where subsequent event or conduct of  member is relevant with respect to state of affairs as pertaining to the time when member has incurred disqualification, that subsequent events can be taken into consideration by the High Court in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226.

In view of the foregoing conclusions, the Supreme Court upheld the order of the High Court and dismissed the appeal. 

In the present case, the appeal has been filed against the Interlocutory Order passed by the Delhi High Court in application filed by the appellant in Writ Petition. By the said application, the appellant sought permission to submit additional documents and place material on record which had been rejected by the High Court. The said rejection was upheld by the Supreme Court.

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