Fear disqualification for supporting women`s quota Bill: Amar, Jaya tell SC

Expelled Samajwadi Party MP Amar Singh on Wednesday told the SC that he and actress Jayaprada faced disqualification from Parliament if they voted in favour of the Women`s Reservation Bill as the party was strongly against it.

Updated: Nov 10, 2010, 21:18 PM IST

New Delhi: Expelled Samajwadi Party MP Amar
Singh on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that he and actress
Jayaprada faced disqualification from Parliament if they voted
in favour of the Women`s Reservation Bill as the party was
strongly against the quota.
Appearing for Singh, senior counsel Harish Salve told a
Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph that one of
the main issues on which they were expelled was the
differences over support extended to the Women`s Reservation
Bill by the duo, to which the party was fiercely opposed to.

He said the two MPs faced a piquant situation in that if
they voted with the Bill`s protagonists, it would amount to
defying the party`s whip and hence invite disqualification
under the anti-defection law.

"I am afraid that if we decide to support the Women`s
Reservation Bill, we would be disqualified for defying the
party whip. That was one of the main areas of our differences,
resulting in the expulsion because the party is opposed to the
Bill," Salve submitted before the Bench.

He raised the issue while arguing that expelled
Members are not bound by party whip and the apex court had
taken an erroneous view in 1996 that even after expulsion an
MP has to abide by the whip to prevent disqualification.

Earlier, during arguments, the Bench said "you are
elected on the basis of the party manifesto. Otherwise, the
entire purpose of the anti-defection law goes out."

The Bench, however, said it would refer the issue to a
larger Bench and pass appropriate orders on Monday.

The two expelled MPs had moved the apex court fearing
they may be disqualified for not abiding by the party whip in
Parliament in view of the apex court verdict in a case in
1996.
As per the interpretation of the anti-defection law
by the Supreme Court in 1996 in the Vishwanathan case, a
member elected or nominated by a political party continues to
be under its control even after his or her expulsion.

PTI