New Delhi: The Delhi Assembly Speaker has informed the High Court that he has no power under the law to change the affiliation of expelled Aam Aadmi Party MLA Vinod Kumar Binny in the house.
Justice Manmohan, while seeking response from the office of the Speaker of the house which is under suspended animation after Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal put in his papers, had stayed the operation of Speaker MS Dhir`s letter that had said that Binny continued to be a member of AAP despite his expulsion.
"Answering respondent (Speaker) has no power under the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, or the Rules of the Procedure and Conduct of Business in Delhi Legislative Assembly or under the Member of Delhi Legislative Assembly (Disqualification on Grounds of Defection) Rules, or in the Tenth schedule of the Constitution, to change party affiliation of a member of Delhi legislative Assembly other than the affiliation notified by Election Commission of India or to declare any member as Independent or as an unattached member," the affidavit filed by Lal Mani, Deputy Secretary of Assembly, said.
Seeking dismissal of Binny`s plea by terming it as "premature", the affidavit said, "The seating of members within the Assembly, is within the exclusive domain of the answering respondent (Speaker)and not amenable to the writ jurisdiction of this court."
The Speaker`s office also said the Supreme Court`s order to protect Amar Singh and Jaya Prada from disqualification as MPs will not be applicable in Binny`s case.
Citing the apex court verdict in G Vishwanathan`s case, it said the 10th schedule of the Constitution does not provide for holding a member as "unattached" and in the case of Amar Singh and Jaya Prada, they were merely granted interim reliefs and the verdict in the Vishwanathan`s case has not been stayed.
Taking Speaker`s response into records, the court today asked Binny to file rejoinder within two weeks and fixed the case for hearing on July 17.