HC disposes off plea seeking directions to Goa Speaker to decide on MLAs’ disqualification petitions in time-bound manner

The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday disposed off a petition filed by former Goa Congress chief Girish Chodankar seeking directions to the Speaker of the state legislative Assembly to decide on the disqualification petitions pending against eight legislators in a time-bound manner.

Chodankar’s lawyer Abhijit Gosavi said the division bench in its order observed that since Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar has stated in an affidavit that he would decide on the petitions as soon as possible, it will not give any directions on the petition.

The major contention of the plea was that the court should give directions to the Speaker to decide on the disqualification petitions filed by Chodankar against eight Congress MLAs who shifted allegiance to the BJP in 2022, he said.

Tawadkar in his submission before the division bench had said that the high court cannot direct him to decide on the petitions in a time-bound manner, he said.

The court on Tuesday held that the Speaker acts as a tribunal and therefore, it can direct him to decide on the petitions and that it has to be done within reasonable time, Gosavi said.

In the present case, the court has held that since the Speaker in his affidavit has stated that he is already in the process of deciding on the disqualification petition filed by the present GPCC president Amit Patkar against the same MLAs, it is not inclined to give any order, he said.

While refusing to give any outer limit to decide on the petitions, the court said that the statement made by the Speaker in the affidavit would be adhered to, Gosavi said. 

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