Legal Politics

Top court annuls verdict to oust floor-crossing MPs from parliament


Lawmakers who were declared disqualified from the parliament by the Elections Commission are pictured leaving the Supreme Court. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU

The Supreme Court on Thursday night terminated its contentious anti-defection ruling, which had stated that floor-crossing lawmakers would be ousted from the parliament.

The court had issued the prickly ruling, which stated that any lawmaker that resigned or was expelled from the party he or she was registered to at the time of election, or shifted to another party, would be disqualified last year July following a constitutional case filed by the attorney general. However, the court had stated that the ruling would be in place only until the parliament passed a legislature regarding floor-crossing.

In the unprecedented court order issued Thursday night, the Supreme Court explained that it had issued the ruling last July as a temporary solution for the case filed by the state. However, the court declared that, even half a year later, the government and parliament had failed to comply with the ruling. It noted that the Elections Commission had declared several lawmakers disqualified from parliament despite the parliament’s failure to pass the stipulated legislature on floor-crossing.

The apex court went on to highlight that, though it had not ruled that the MPs were expelled, some of the “unseated” lawmakers in question had been charged with criminal offences for trying to enter the parliament premises. The court added that recent tensions and disorder indicated the increasing loss of national interest and the growing distance with the constitutional system.

Under this new court order, the 12 “unseated” MPs are back on the parliament, and the Supreme Court has further ordered that the new parliament term must proceed with their attendance.

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Source URL: Mihaaru-News

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