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High Court issue notices to Speaker, Ajgaonkar, Pawaskar in MGP merger petition

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Panaji: The Bombay High Court at Goa on Monday issued notices to Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly and two BJP ministers – Manohar Ajgaonkar and Deepak Pawaskar – in connection with the petition of disqualification filed against them by a citizen.

Deputy Chief Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar and State Public Works Department Minister Deepak Pawaskar had broke away from MGP on March 27, 2019 to form their own group and then had joined BJP.

Petitioner Sadanand Vaigankar had moved to the High Court invoking extraordinary jurisdiction of high court under article 226 of Constitution of India seeking protection of the constitutional scheme, constitutional values and the spirit of democracy, the basic feature of the constitution, which is sought to be circumvented and defeated by illegal and malafide actions of the Speaker of the legislative assembly and the present ruling dispensation.

The Court on Monday directed to issue notices to all the respondents including Speaker of Legislative Assembly Michael Lobo and both the MLAs fixing the matter on April 30, 2019.

The petition is challenging the order passed by speaker dated March 27, 2019 whereby he has approved the merger of MGP into BJP.

The petitioner has said that the order is ex-facie without jurisdiction and authority of law, void ab initio, arbitrary, illegal, perverse and is clearly done to preempt any action of disqualification being raised against the respondents.

The petitioner has said that it was widely reported that on account of differences between MGP and BJP regarding the manner of government formation which took place on March 19, 2019, the MGP was to withdraw the support to the government which would have affected the stability of government.

“To overcome this BJP engineered defection of two MLAs of MGP, who in midnight drama tendered their papers to the speaker, submitting that they have agreed to merge with BJP and claimed that they constituted two third of the legislature party,” he has pleaded.

“Shockingly, Speaker in early hours at around 2 am of March 27, 2019 was not only remained present  in the legislative assembly to accept such papers but also passed an order approving the merger, clearly exceeding his constitutional powers,” the petition adds.

“At this time even chief minister and president of BJP (Goa) were also present. This mid night drama was enacted because MGP had called their executive committee meeting next day morning and likely action of suspension of one of the member was contemplated,” the petitioner said.

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