Calcutta High Court sets aside Speaker’s order dismissing plea on Mukul Roy disqualification

THE CALCUTTA High Court on Monday set aside West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee’s order dismissing a petition by Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari which sought disqualification of TMC lawmaker Mukul Roy as a member of the House on the ground of defection and restored the matter for fresh consideration.

A division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Rajarshi Bharadwaj issued the order on Monday. The petitioner contended that the decision of Speaker Biman Banerjee to retain the post of MLA of Mukul, who had joined the Trinamool Congress after being elected on a BJP ticket, was practically rejected by the High Court on Monday.

Petitioner’s lawyer Bilwadal Bhattacharya said a two-judge bench had asked the Speaker to take a decision on the press conference held on June 11 last year by BJP MLA Mukul Trinamool as “evidence”.

The division bench said that in view of the speaker’s failure to take into account and consider the certificate of evidence in support of his claim under Section 65-B of the Evidence Act and consequently hold the electronic evidence as inadmissible, has rendered Banerjee’s order “perverse”.

Setting aside the speaker’s order of February 22 which had dismissed the petition filed by Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari seeking disqualification of Roy as a member of the House on the ground of defection, the court said that the certificate filed before the speaker under Section 65-B needs to be considered in accordance with law and the electronic evidence needs to be re-appreciated.

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