New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday
decided to refer to a larger bench a crucial question as to whether an expelled legislator or parliamentarian can be disqualified under the anti-defection law for defying a whip.
A bench of justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph
decided to make the reference after Attorney General G E
Vahanvati agreed that the issue needs to be settled by a
larger bench as the apex court`s earlier judgement in the
Vishwanathan`s case was not clear on certain aspects of the
The bench said it would pass appropriate order on
Monday, formulating various questions requiring consideration
by the larger bench.
The bench took the decision after hearing in detail
Attorney General Vahanvati and senior counsel Harish Salve
and K K Venugopal, appearing for expelled Samajwadi Party
leaders Amar Singh and Jaya Prada.
The two leaders had contended that they have landed in
a piquant situation as expelled members, they apprehend disqualification under the anti-defection law if they choose to defy party`s whip on any issue in Parliament.
The counsel for two parliamentarians argued that the
anti-defection law could be evoked only against those who
either defect from the party or defy its whip while being in
But, in their case, they contended, they have not
defected from the party but were rather expelled, and as
unattached members of the party, they were not amenable to the