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UTTAR PRADESH

Speaker rejects BSP plea in MLAs’ defection case

Friday 12 August 2005

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Assembly Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey on Friday pronounced that the June 15 application of two Samajwadi Party MLAs were maintainable for commencing the hearing in the case related to defection of 13 former BSP MLAs to the ruling SP.

Giving his judgement after rejecting the plea of the BSP counsels that the applications were not maintainable, Mr Pandey fixed August 22 for hearing on the defection case.

The Speaker has also given a week’s time to the BSP to file rejoinder and similar time to the rest 11 MLAs, the respondents, to submit their comments on the commencement of the case.

Mr Pandey only read out the operative part of his judgement announcing that the full judgement would be pronounced on August 16.

On June 15, applications were moved by two SP MLAs, Rajendra Singh Rana and Virendra Singh Bundela, ministers in Mulayam Singh Yadav government, who demanded early disposal of the petition filed by BSP on September 4, 2003, against the defection of 13 BSP MLAs.

Meanwhile, criticising the Speaker’s ruling, BSP legislature party leader and petitioner Swami Prasad Maurya alleged that the judgement was made under pressure from the ruling party and Mr Pandey had acted arbitrarily by not giving enough time to the petitioner.

``Today’s act of the Speaker was an effort to derail the proceedings of a similar case being heard in Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court,’’ he said, adding the Speaker had outrightly supported the ruling party MLAs.

However, the allegation of the BSP leader was contradicted by State Revenue Minister Ambika Choudhury, who maintained that the Speaker was the supreme authority and any charge against him amounted to contempt.

``We will seek legal advice for taking action against the BSP leader who has levelled baseless charges against the Speaker.’’ — UNI

See online : The Hindu

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