If you’re preparing for CLAT, Current Affairs play a significant role in securing a good score. So, you need to be updated with the daily current affairs and current happenings across the globe. Here is a list of some legal current affairs that took place this week.
SC on Suspension of MLAs
On January 28, 2022, Supreme Court ruled ‘a resolution by Maharashtra Assembly to suspend 12 BJP MLAs for one year’, as unconstitutional.
- While ruling on the constitutionality of Maharashtra Assembly’s July 5, 2021 resolution, the apex court maintained that legislators could not be suspended beyond the tenure of that session”.
- Maharashtra Assembly had passed a resolution on July 5, 2021, to suspend 12 BJP MLAs, alleging their misbehavior in the House as “unconstitutional, irrational and substantively illegal”.
Supreme Court Bench
This ruling was pronounced by a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, C T Ravikumar, and Dinesh Maheshwari. The bench was ruling on a plea by suspended MLAs.
Why were MLAs suspended?
12 MLAs were suspended for misbehavior in the Assembly on the matter of disclosure of data regarding OBCs.
Under what rule was suspension challenged?
The suspension was challenged mainly on the grounds of denial of “principles of natural justice” and violation of laid-down procedure. MLAs maintained that they were not provided an opportunity to present their case. Thus, suspension violated their fundamental right to equality before the law, in accordance with Article 14 of the constitution.
Under what rule were MLAs suspended?
These MLAs were suspended by exercising powers under “Rule 53 of Maharashtra Assembly”. The rule empowers the Speaker to direct any member to withdraw immediately from the Assembly, in case the member refuses to obey his decision or whose conduct is grossly disorderly. With this, the member must “absent himself for the remainder of the day’s meeting”. If any member is ordered to withdraw for a second time in the same session, the Speaker can direct the member to be absent for a period not longer than the remainder of the session.
Provisions for Suspension of an MP
In Lok Sabha, Rules 373, 374, and 374A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business provide for the withdrawal of a member whose conduct is “grossly disorderly”. Rules also provide for the suspension of the member who abuses the rules in the House or wilfully obstructs its business. As per rules, the maximum suspension is for five consecutive sittings or the remainder of the session, whichever is less. Maximum suspension for Rajya Sabha under Rules 255 and 256 should also not exceed the remainder of the session. Similar provisions are there for state legislative assemblies and councils.
What is ‘Motion of Thanks’?
On February 2, 2022, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be the first speaker in Lok Sabha to discuss on motion of thanks to the President’s address at the start of Parliament’s ongoing Budget Session.
- The motion was moved in the Lower House by BJP’s Harish Dwivedi. The motion will be moved in Rajya Sabha by BJP’s Geeta alias Chandraprabha.
- Debate on motion of thanks will be held for 12 hours, while Union Budget 2022 will be debated for 11 hours in Rajya Sabha.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to reply on February 8, while finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will reply on February 11.
- President Ram Nath Kovind listed achievements of the government in his address to the joint sitting of both Houses. He listed steps to fight the covid pandemic and steps to aid farmers & women.
President’s Address to a joint session
Article 87 provides for a special address by the President to the joint session in the Parliament. The President of India is mandated to address both houses of Parliament together at the commencement of the first session after each general election to the House of the People as well as at the commencement of the first session of each year. The President also informs Parliament of the causes of its summons. Such an address by the President is termed as a “Special Address”, and it is an annual feature. No other business is transacted prior to the President’s address.
Content of the President’s Address
The President’s Address is the statement of policy of the Government. It is drafted by the Government. The address comprises a review of various activities and achievements of the Government during the previous year. It also sets out the policies, programs, and projects which the Government seeks to pursue with respect to important national and international issues.
Discussion on President’s Address by Motion of Thanks
The address of the President corresponds to ‘speech from the Throne in Britain’. It is discussed in a motion called “Motion of Thanks”, in both the Houses of Parliament. It is available to the members of Parliament for raising discussions & debates in a bid to examine and criticize the government. Usually, three days are allotted to discussion on Motion of Thanks.
West Bengal: CM- Governor Tussle
West Bengal witnessed a tussle between the Speaker and the governor recently.
What was the issue?
On January 25, 2022, the Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar visited the assembly premises to pay tributes to Dr. B R Ambedkar. During his visit, he launched an attack against Vidhan Sabha Speaker Biman Bandyopadhyay. Since then, a continuous conflict has been going on between both. Matters came to the limelight when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced about blocking the governor on Twitter because of his derogatory remarks against the state government on a microblogging site.
Similar conflict in Kerala
A similar conflict has been going on in Kerala. Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammad Khan, recently slammed the government openly on multiple occasions. However, the severity of attacks in Kerala has not crossed the limits of decency. But in Bengal, people believe that the governor’s behavior has been intimidating towards the state.
Who appoints Governor?
Governors are appointed by the President in India. But the Central government plays a significant role in suggesting these names to him. There have been several instances where governors have worked as a mouthpiece of the Central government. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is one of the strongest opponents of BJP, which lost miserably in recently held assembly elections in West Bengal. Thus, political observers believe that the governor of Bengal is just following the Centre’s orders.
Power of Speaker
The Speaker of the Lok Sabha or any state legislature is head of the House. He enjoys independent and autonomous powers. His decision in the House is sacrosanct. Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar has raised questions on the role of the Speaker. But he also indicated that he is working on behalf of the ruling party. Such allegations defame the chair of the Speaker. When such allegations come from the constitutional head of any state, it defames democracy.
Issue of administering Oath of Office
Since 1952, the governor of the state has authorized the Speaker of the legislative assembly to administer the oath of office to legislators. But after recent by-polls in Bengal, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar issued a notification and withdrew the power of Speaker to administer the oath of office to newly elected legislators. This is being seen as the first and biggest attack on the Speaker of House by the constitutional head of a state.
Article 188 of the Indian constitution deals with the oath or affirmation of lawmakers. It states every member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council shall make and subscribe before the Governor before taking his seat.
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