Monday 06 April 2020

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HC stays disqualification of Willy group

 

Chief minister Dr Wilfred de Souza got a reprieve with the Bombay high court today morning staying the speaker's order disqualifying all ten members of his Goa Rajiv Congress.

He has however decided to convene the Assembly session to take up the confidence motion only after the second judgement on the governor's order of dismissing his predecessor Pratapsing Rane is delivered in the evening.

The deadline for the confidence motion expires tomorrow. The high court, though said it cannot suggest to the governor to postpone the deadline, stated : "we wish and hope the date is postponed in the interest of a fair play in the Assembly on the issue of confidence motion".

A plea in this regard was made by de Souza in the court, while seeking a stay on their disqualification order. Governor J F R Jacob had earlier rejected his plea since he was given 21 days time, since 29 July, to prove his majority in the House.

The suspense however still continues since it is not known what step speaker Tomazinho Cardoz takes on yet another disqualification petition filed by a Congress MLA before him, seeking ex-parte ad-interim relief, restraining the de Souza group from voting on the confidence motion.

The high court, while delivering the judgement on the disqualification petition, rejected de Souza's plea to restrain the speaker from passing any interim order. "We cannot decide on it since no order has been passed by the speaker", stated a division bench comprising of Justice R K Batta and Justice J K Patil.

The speaker is expected to pass an order on the petition by today evening. He has postponed hearing on the petition twice since yesterday.

While granting the stay on disqualification of ten MLAs, the Goa bench of the Bombay high court said it was necessary in view of the important constitutional questions involved in the whole issue. Since the confidence motion has to be taken up by 19 August, the court felt that no undue advantage should be taken by any party.

De Souza's coalition government, also supported by the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party, enjoys a majority of 23 in the 40-member House. But if the speaker once again restrains ten members of the de Souza group from voting, then he can lose the confidence motion since the Congress, now in the opposition, has 17 members on their side.     






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