'Unconstitutional': Supreme Court revokes suspension of 12 Maharashtra BJP MLAs
The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the Maharashtra Assembly's decision to suspend 12 members from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The MLAs were suspended for a period of one year starting July 5, 2021, for allegedly misbehaving with the presiding officer in the state assembly. Several petitions had been filed challenging the Assembly's resolution to suspend the members.
- The MLAs will now be entitled to all due benefits after the conclusion of the Maharashtra Assembly's Monsoon Session last July.
- The members in question are Sanjay Kute, Ashish Shelar, Abhimanyu Pawar, Girish Mahajan, Atul Bhatkhalkar, Parag Alavani, Harish Pimpale, Yogesh Sagar, Jay Kumar Rawat, Narayan Kuche, Ram Satpute, and Bunty Bhangdia.
- Several BJP leaders have celebrated the court's order.
A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said the MLAs could not be suspended beyond the period of an ongoing session, according to the rules. The apex court also said the Maharashtra Assembly's decision was "unconstitutional and illegal." "Assembly resolutions are malice in the eyes of law and declared to be ineffective," the court added.
Welcoming the court's order, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis tweeted, "It was not only a question of 12 MLAs but of more than 50 lakh citizens in these 12 constituencies." "The SC judgment is a slap on the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government's face. The suspension was an act of vendetta," said MLA Girish Mahajan, who was among those suspended.
In July 2021, chaos had erupted in the Maharashtra Assembly during the introduction of a resolution regarding political reservation for Other Backward Classes. Opposition leaders had protested claiming they were not allowed to have their say. The 12 members were suspended after Assembly Speaker Bhaskar Jadhav alleged they abused and manhandled him. Later that month, the members approached the SC to challenge the suspension.