Bombay High Court dismisses the plea challenging the Maharashtra Legislative Council’s act of choosing the Deputy Chairperson ruling that the ‘High Court is not an appellate body over the State Legislature’.
The plea is filed by Gopichand Padalkar, a member of the MLC from the BJP to quash and set aside the proceedings that held to choose the Deputy Chairperson as he could not attend the proceedings of the house because he was Covid-positive. And a general notice had been issued to allow only those members who were certified negative for COVID-19 to attend the session of the MLC.
He also relied upon Rule 6 of the MLC Rules as per which the date of election should be declared and a notice be sent to every member any time before noon on the preceding day of the date so fixed. Therefore, the notice has to be sent to all the members, and the election has to be two days after the announcement, it was submitted. However, in the instant case, the Chairman of the house declared at 12.00 noon on September 7, 2020 that an election would be held on September 8, 2020, contrary to the Rules. So, the advocate argued that the result of the election in the favour of Dr. Neelam Gorhe is illegal and unconstitutional.
After referring to a slew of judgments, the Court deduced that they can exercise judicial review over the actions of the State legislature only if such action is ‘ex facie illegal, unlawful or unconstitutional’.
“Even though the Legislature may not have strictly complied with the procedural requirements laid down for regulating its business, that cannot be a reason for intervention by the Courts. The Legislature is a co-ordinate organ, and its views do deserve deference,” the Court said.
It is shown that courts should exercise great caution and prudence when exercising power of judicial review with respect to proceedings of the State Legislature.