24 February 2020


High Court of Uttarakhand

Subodh Iniyal and Ors. v. Speaker Legislative Assembly and Ors.




Uttarakhand MLAs not towing party line ‘voluntarily’ gave up membership: HC

Dismissing a petition by nine Congress Members of the Uttarakhand Legislative Assembly, Nainital High Court noted that the conduct of the members had established their ‘voluntarily giving up membership of their political party’. That they had not become members of any other political party held no sway.

That Uttarakhand’s recent tryst with President’s Rule stemmed from nine members of the ruling party going against party wishes would not be an unreasonable assessment. The members had been vociferous, not only against the Appropriation Bill for the State, but also of the unconstitutional manner in which the Assembly was conducted. Their efforts earned them dismissal from the Indian National Congress and led to, an alleged, sham disqualification and suspension by the Speaker.

The court steered clear of an in-depth assessment of the facts. It instead opined: “a political party functions on the strength of shared beliefs…political stability depends on such shared beliefs… any freedom of its members to vote as they please independently of the political party’s declared policies will not only embarrass its public image…but also undermine public confidence.”


Mohmed Inayatullah vs. the State of Maharashtra MANU/SC/0166/1975
Kihoto Hollohan vs. Zachillhu & others MANU/SC/0753/1992

Tags : uttarakhand mla political party membership disobedience

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