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Delhi HC refuses urgent hearing for plea seeking LoP's appointment in LS

A vacation bench of justices Jyoti Singh and Manoj Kumar Ohri said "looking at the relief sought, there is no urgency". The bench instead listed the petition for hearing on July 8

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Lok Sabha elections 2019
Opposition leaders

The on Wednesday refused an urgent hearing to a plea for asking the speaker to appoint a leader of opposition (LoP) in the House.

A vacation bench of justices Jyoti Singh and Manoj Kumar Ohri said "looking at the relief sought, there is no urgency". The bench instead listed the petition for hearing by an appropriate bench on July 8.

Advocates Manmohan Singh Narula and Susmita Kumari, who filed the petition, said the Speaker was not performing his statutory duty of appointing the LoP.

They argued in the petition that recognising a member of the house as the leader of opposition was "not a political or arithmetical decision, but a statutory decision".

"The speaker has to merely ascertain whether the party claiming this post is the largest party in the opposition," they said in the petition, which also sought framing of a policy for appointment of the LoP.

Denying the second largest party in Parliament -- the -- the leadership of the opposition sets a wrong precedent and dilutes democracy, they added..

West Bengal's Behrampur MP has been elected as the leader of the parliamentary party in the

The petition said under theSalaries and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act of 1977, the person who is leader of the numerically biggest party in opposition to the government is considered as the LoP.

"That in the new Lok Sabha, with 52 members, the is the largest party in the Opposition, and is therefore the rightful claimant to this post under the law," it said.

The petition also contended that there is no condition in the Salaries and Allowances of the Leader of Opposition in Parliament Act that the party in opposition has to have a strength of 10 per cent of the total MPs in the house for its leader to be recognised as LoP.

The petitioners have claimed that "the Speaker is legally bound to recognise the leader of that party as the leader of the opposition as per the statute passed by the Parliament.

"Since the speaker is performing a statutory duty in recognising the leader of the opposition, she or he cannot exercise any discretion in the matter," the petitioner said.

First Published: Wed, June 26 2019. 15:20 IST
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