After a long drawn trial continuing before the Speaker’s Tribunal since 2015, the case has reached almost its end on Friday when the arguments concluded. Now all eyes would be on judgment, which can come any time after December 12.
The court of Speaker Dinesh Oraon heard arguments from the last MLA of the six, Janki Prasad Yadav, which was concluded repeating similar things and stressing over merger of the JVM into the BJP and not that their former party had indeed split violating the provisions of the 10th schedule of the Constitution. The provisions in the law are to prevent an illegitimate defection from taking place.
“The lawyer of Janki Prasad Yadav today concluded his argument where he questioned the case from the JVM, which did not talk about merger. He also said that the MLAs were well within their rights to merge their party to any other party since the desired number, which is two-third of the strength in the Assembly was with them. The Speaker has given December 12 as next date when the JVM would get a chance to respond to the arguments presented from all the six MLAs and thereafter the decision of the tribunal can come anytime,” said an Assembly official present in the court room.
JVM’s case is switching of six out of eight of the party MLAs to the BJP on February 11, 2015 post Assembly polls in 2015 which it argued was against the provisions of the 10th schedule. As per the provisions in the law, membership of the legislator under question can go if the Speaker rules that he had defected to other party from his parent party.
“I need just one date to reply to their arguments. Thereafter the Speaker would deliver his order. Since all the facts are written and arguments and testimonies are recorded the tribunal does not need much time to dictate the judgment. We are expecting a favourable decision this month itself,’ said JVM lawyer RN Sahay.
Though the MLAs, if found against the provisions of the anti-defection law, can move to the High Court by filling writs it would have no bearing on their disqualification from the House as, experts say, the provisions of the 10th schedule Speaker lays down that court’s findings are sufficient to declare a member disqualified.
As many as six MLAs namely Alok Kumar Chaurasia, Janki Prasad Yadav, Navin Jaiswal, Ganesh Ganjhu, Randhir Singh and Amar Kumar Bauri are facing the trial in the case which had seen about 96 hearings so far before the tribunal setup for this very purpose.
The advocates from the MLAs have been stressing that the matter a perfect case of merger of a party into another party while rejecting the claims of the JVM which has been stating that six of the legislators elected on its tickets during the 2014 polls but went on shifting their loyalties to the BJP that came to power early in 2015 against the provisions into the law.