Speakers of parliament, state legislatures: India
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Pro Tem Speakers
SC: senior-most member- convention is not law/ 2018
Bench rejects plea for a court-appointed pro tem Speaker for the trust vote
Pro tem Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, the man chosen by Governor Vajubhai Vala to steer the decisive trust vote in the Karnataka Assembly, emerged unscathed by allegations of bias and “dubiousness” raised against him in the Supreme Court by the Congress-JDS combine, merely hours before the floor test on Saturday.
Faced with the prospect of a delayed floor test if they persist against Mr. Bopaiah, the Congress-JD(S) combine was stopped in their tracks when Mr. Vala and the B.S. Yedyurappa-led BJP government stated in court that the floor test would be recorded and telecast live.
The two parties hit a rough patch early in the hearing when a three-judge Bench led by Justice A.K. Sikri said the alliance could not ask for both remedies — examine the suitability and bonafides of Mr. Bopaiah and at the same time have the floor test at 4 p.m.
“You are in a zone of contradiction here,” Justice S.A. Bobde said. Justices Bobde and Ashok Bhushan explained that Mr. Bopaiah’s appointment could not be reviewed without first hearing him.
The court sternly ruled out a suggestion by Congress counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal to flex its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution and appoint a Pro Tem Speaker. “You want us to appoint a Speaker? No,” Justice Sikri said.
Justice Bobde countered Mr. Sibal’s plea that the appointment of Mr. Bopaiah violated long-standing parliamentary convention that the “senior-most member” of the House should be made Pro Tem Speaker. “A convention is not law,” Justice Sikri said.
Judicial review of Speakers’ decisions
SC’s Aadhaar verdict 2018: Speaker’s decisions open to judicial review
The Supreme Court justified the passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a money bill in Parliament, but noted that the decision of the Speaker to classify a bill as money bill is amenable to judicial review, thus opening the gates for scrutiny of the Speaker’s decision.
The Supreme Court, however, gave the option to get it reviewed by the apex court as the Speaker is also bound by the Constitution and cannot go beyond the provisions of Article 110.
The Speaker’s decision may now be scrutinised under the provisions of Article 110 of the Constitution to see whether the bill actually covers the issue of receipt and spending of money. Currently, the Constitution gives power to the Lok Sabha Speaker to take a final call if questions arise about whether a Bill is a money bill.
Money bills are those that contain provisions dealing with all or any of the matters specified in Article 110 of the Constitution. The sub-clauses include imposition, abolition, remission, alteration and regulation of any tax, regulation of borrowing of money, custody of the Consolidated Fund of India, appropriation of money out of Consolidated Fund of India, and receipt of money on account of Consolidated Fund of India or Public Account of India.