Speaker to decide fate of NCP MLAs on Mar 12

Bhubaneswar: The ball has finally landed in Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat’s court on the disqualification of NCP legislators’ membership issue. The speaker has summoned all four NCP lawmakers and party state president Utkal Keshari Parida to appear before him on March 12 for hearing.
 
Amat is likely to take a decision on the same day after hearing both sides.
 
“Since the Speaker is constitutionally empowered to take a decision on membership disqualification issues, he will take a final call after hearing both the sides. In the quasi-judicial process, the parties may provide documentary or oral evidence to substantiate their side,” Pitambar Acharya, lawyer of Amat said.  
 
Earlier on March 13, the Supreme Court had set aside a review petition filed by Amat challenging an HC order that asked him to take a decision on the membership disqualification of NCP MLAs who joined BJD last year.
 
On June 5, 2012, four NCP legislators Prasant Nanda, Amar Satapathy, Ramachandra Hansda and Nabin Nanda switched over to BJD prompting Parida to move the Speaker with a petition and subsequently Odisha High Court on August 13.
 
Responding the petition, though the HC in September had directed Amat to decide on the matter within eight weeks, Amat challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court. 
 
After the SC rejected his petition in January this year, Amat had again filed a review petition in the Apex court.