MLAs merger: Speaker rejects NCP

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat on late Thursday night rejected NCP state presdint Utkal Keshari Parida’s petition seeking disqualification of four NCP MLAs who joined BJD in 2012.
Amat, who heard the case and reserved his pronouncement on Thursday, set aside the petition of Parida later on late night citing that the plea was not filed properly as per constitutional guidelines.
“The misc cases filed by Amar Satpathy and others were allowed and the petition of Utkal Keshari Parida was rejected”, Amat said.
Similarly, Speaker’s counsel Pitambar Acharya said, “None of the annexure attached to the four disqualification petitions have been signed nor verified in the manner laid down in the Civil Procedure Code. Since there has been a statutory no-compliance, all the four petitions have been dismissed”.
On the other hand, petitioner Parida criticized the judgment of the Speaker. He said “we are not at all astonished over the decision of Speaker as we had known it earlier. Now, the people of the country knew that he (Amat) is poor in knowledge about constitution”.
The four legislators- Prasant Nanda, Ramachandra Hansda, Naveen Nanda, Amar Satpathy- had submitted their affidavits seeking rejection of NCP’s petition. They alleged that the presentation of the petition was not appropriate as the annexure attached with the petition was not duly signed by the petitioner. NCP State president had taken a week to reply on the affidavits of four MLAs.
Notably, the four MLAs joined BJD on June 5, 2012. The NCP president of Odisha unit first moved to Speaker and later High Court seeking disqualification of the legislators’ membership from Assembly citing their merger unconstitutional. High Court on September 27, 2012 directed the Speaker to decide on the matter within eight weeks.
Later, the Speaker had filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court against the order of lower court. The apex court had upheld the judgment of High Court on 17, January, 2013. Again Amat filed a review plea in the Supreme Court acting on which the court rejected the Speaker’s plea on March 13 and directed him to take decision in eight weeks.