New Delhi, May 16: Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley today said the Supreme Court judgement quashing disqualification of 11 BJP MLAs is “erroneous” as it is based on the premise that they only wanted to replace the Chief Minister but did not want the government to fall. In an article published on BJP website, Jaitley says the Supreme Court's conclusions based on a letter written by the rebel MLAs to Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj on October 6, 2010 may not be correct.
The judgement by a bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir stated the 11 legislators were only against Yeddyurappa continuing as chief minister but wanted their party BJP to stay in power is not correct, Jaitely said.
“We live in a real world. We know what the MLAs did. They wanted the government to go. The language of their letter was clear. Their subsequent actions corroborated their intentions. If they wanted a change of leadership within the party they should have written to the party president and not to the governor of the state,” Jaitley said. The eminent lawyer insisted that though this issue is now merely of “academic interest” as the 11 suspended MLAs have now pledged support to Yeddyurappa, it is important as it may lead to adverse consequences on the functioning of the Anti-Defection Law.
“An interpretation of this kind gives enough play of joints to potential defectors to misuse the provisions of the Tenth Schedule, play games with political morality and then put on an innocent expression and allege that they have done nothing wrong,” Jaitley said.
“Some provisions have been weakened by this judgement. I am sure on a future date this judgement will be re-visited,” he added.
The senior leader further argued that the Supreme Court may be “final” but is not “infallible”. “Even erroneous views of the courts are binding. The governor now seeks to rely on this reasoning in his recommendation to the Centre. These are the consequences that an erroneous judgement can inflict on the democracy. We don't have to merely learn to live with these errors. An erroneous judgement is a challenge to the future to correct the error in to which the judgement has fallen,” Jaitley said.
Jaitley said courts should quash orders of the Speaker only in exceptional circumstances.
“The legislature functions independently of the judiciary. The very concept of separation of power respects the decision of the Speaker. The Supreme Court has balanced the primacy of the Speaker with judicial review by holding that ordinarily the court will not sit in appeal of over the decision of the Speaker,” he said.
The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha maintained that the courts will ordinarily interfere only “if the decision on merits that the Speaker takes is a perverse view or a view which is not possible”.
The senior BJP leader insisted that if two views are possible the courts don't interfere with the decision of the Speaker. PTI