"Whether all members of parliament are unaware of all this? Who are you to say all this? You are a Samiti (committee)," said a bench of Chief Justice P.Sathasivam and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai while rejecting plea by Samata Andolan Samiti.
"You can't say that you represent those MPs and MLAs (legislators)," said Chief Justice Sathasivam rejecting the plea. "We are not inclined to interfere in it but clarify if an aggrieved elected representative approaches us, we will consider it."
"If an appropriate person comes to us, we will consider it," the court said as it noted the petitioner has made only the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as respondents.
The Samiti contended that except for confidence motions or bills concerning constitutional amendment, the parties should be barred from issuing the whip directing their members to vote in a particular manner.
Senior counsel K.K.Venugopal and Gopal Subramanium sought to impress upon the court that the issuance of the whip gagged the elected representatives from expressing themselves freely as they would be expelled from the party for opposing the whip.
Subramanium even challenged the constitutional vires of the provision empowering the parties to issue whips in the context of freedom of speech and expression.
Venugopal said that beyond the elected representatives, the matter needs to be considered on the impact of the whip on the functioning of the democratic system in the country.
--IANS (Posted on 16-09-2013)