Patna: Eight rebel JD(U) MLAs, who were permitted by the courts to attend the Assembly proceedings pending hearing of their plea against termination of membership, were on Monday seen sitting together.
The eight MLAs signed on a separate attendance paper before entering the House, unlike other members who marked their attendance in a register.
Four MLAs Gyanendra Singh Gyanoo, Ravindra Rai, Rahul Sharma and Neeraj Singh Babloo were permitted by the Supreme Court to attend the House, but without any emolument and right to participate in the voting.
Four others - Poonam Devi, Ajit Kumar, Raju Kumar Singh and Suresh Chanchal - were accorded similar facility by the Patna High Court last week where their petition challenging the termination was in the process of hearing.
Membership of the eight has been annulled by the Assembly secretariat for alleged anti-party activities and defying the JD(U) whip.
The eight had criticised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and were siding with former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi who floated Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), which was now a part of the NDA coalition.
Secretary Bihar Assembly Hareram Mukhiya told reporters the eight MLAs have been asked to sign on a separate attendance paper, instead of the register in accordance with the ruling of the courts.
The Supreme Court and Patna High Court in their judgements stated the MLAs were not entitled for emoluments, provided to members on the basis of signatures in the register.
Asked why the eight have been provided seats on the last row away from JD(U), the Secretary said it was on the basis of seats being vacant in the House.
On former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Mukhiya said he continued to remain an unattached member notwithstanding the Election Commission recognising his party as he and others have not resigned from the JD(U).
"JD(U) whip is applicable on Manjhi," he added.