‘Quit or be Disqualified’: Does Continuing as Speaker Inviting Expulsion from One’s Party Warrant Disqualification Under the Tenth Schedule?
Deepak Raju & Karthy Nair*
Volume 2 Issue 1 (2009)
The recent expulsion of Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr. Somnath Chatterjee from his party has raised not just a flutter in the political circles, but also many a constitutional question of significant import. There is a school of opinion which believes that if a person by not abiding by the dictum of his party to resign as the Speaker brings upon himself expulsion from his party, he should be considered to have given up his membership in the party voluntarily, and hence disqualified under the Tenth Schedule. This admittedly, is a radical position, and posits a very fundamental constitutional question. After analysing the position, we have come to form an opinion in opposition to the automatic expulsion theory. Through this paper, we have tried to objectively analyse the current legal position, and have tried to present an opinion based on constitutional provisions and parliamentary conventions.