Calcutta HC hears plea against TMC MLA Mukul Roy appointed as Chairman of PAC

Greeva Garg –

Published on : September 11, 2021 at 12:02 IST

The Calcutta High Court heard the extensive arguments in the plea challenging the appointment of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA Mukul Roy as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.

The Senior Advocate CS Vaidyanathan, representing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ambika Roy and Senior Advocate Anindya Kumar Mitra, representing TMC MLA Mukul Roy, made their submissions before the Bench comprised Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj.

The plea submits that, Mukul Roy has been appointed as the Chairman of the PAC of July 9, 2021, by the Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly for the year 2021-2022 after he defected to the TMC party without officially resigning form the BJP or as the MLA of Krishnanagar Uttar constituency on June 11, 2021.

The petitioner submitted that, “The Speaker of the West Bengal legislative assembly had recognised the existence of a constitutional convention wherein an opposition member is selected as the PAC Chairman and accordingly the Speaker had appointed Mukul Roy as the PAC Chairman ‘under the assumption’ that he belonged to the BJP party.”

Relying on certain provisions, the respondent stated, “As per Section 31 of the Evidence Act, practice does not create a constitutional convention. Also, Rule 255 of the Rules of Business and Conduct of Business contends no statutory requirement of appointing a member of the Opposition party as the PAC Chairman”

The petitioner pointed that, petition nowhere plead for breach of constitutional convention and merely stated that no member of the BJP had either proposed or seconded the name of Mukul Roy.

The respondent argued that, “The present proceedings are barred under Article 212 of the Constitution as the Courts cannot inquire into proceedings of the legislature.”

After taking note of all the arguments, the Court posted the matter for next hearing on 13 September.

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