Disqualification of a member of legislature should be decided by the presiding officer within three months to thwart political defections, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has said in his order disqualifying rebel JD(U) MPs Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar Ansari from the Rajya Sabha.
Naidu, who is the Rajya Sabha chairman, yesterday disqualified the two JD(U) rebels just over a month after a plea was filed in this regard and did not refer the matter to the committee on privileges.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury today questioned what he called the "mind-boggling" speed with which the plea was decided by Naidu.
In his order, Naidu said that the petitions on whether a particular legislator is entitled to sit in the legislature or not should not be kept pending and dragged on by the presiding officer as it subverts the essence of the Anti-Defection Law.
Such applications were dragged with a view to save the membership of the persons, who have otherwise incurred disqualification or even to save the government, which enjoys majority only because of such type of persons, Naidu added.
The referring of the disqualification petitions to the committee on privileges delays the proceedings and final decision, which is against the Constitution's 10th schedule, Naidu said while explaining why the rebel JD(U) MPs disqualification petitions were not referred to the panel.
"This is also tantamount to subverting the essence of the Anti-Defection Law, namely, to curb the menace of defection, by allowing a member to continue his membership without facing the consequences of defection," Naidu said in the order.
The Rajya Sabha chairman also referred to the concerns expressed by the Supreme Court about the unnecessary delay in deciding disqualification petitions by the presiding officers of the legislatures.
The plea for disqualification of the two JD(U) Rajya Sabha MPs was filed on November 2 by the party after they revolted against party chief Nitish Kumar's decision to ally with the BJP.
There have been instances when disqualification applications have dragged on several months.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)