Growing trend of Speakers acting against constitutional duty of being neutral, says SC

​​A bench of justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari said the Speaker, being a neutral person, is expected to act independently while conducting the proceedings of the House or adjudication petitions.

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NEW DELHI: There is a growing trend of Speakers acting against the "constitutional duty of being neutral" in addition to political parties indulging in horse trading and corrupt practices due to which citizens are being denied stable governments, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday.

A bench of justices N V Ramana, Sanjiv Khanna and Krishna Murari said the Speaker, being a neutral person, is expected to act independently while conducting the proceedings of the House or adjudication petitions.

The constitutional responsibility endowed upon the Speaker has to be scrupulously followed and his political affiliations cannot come in the way of adjudication, the apex court said.


If the Speaker is not able to disassociate from his political party and behaves contrary to the spirit of the neutrality and independence then such person does not deserve to be reposed with public trust and confidence, it added.

"In any case, there is a growing trend of Speakers acting against the constitutional duty of being neutral. Additionally, political parties are indulging in horse trading and corrupt practices, due to which the citizens are denied of stable governments.

"In these circumstances, the Parliament is required to reconsider strengthening certain aspects of the Tenth Schedule, so that such undemocratic practices are discouraged," the bench said.
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The 3-judge bench made these observations while upholding the disqualification of 17 Congress-JD(S) MLAs in Karnataka on orders of the Speaker, but allowing them to contest the December 5 by-polls in the state.
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