Madras high court
CHENNAI: Law of politics is not a codified law. Political opposition and rivalry to either support or fell government are a process of democracy, said Madras high court, setting aside privilege motion against 21 DMK MLAs.
Switching over loyalties and walking out by members are a vibrant part of Indian politics, said the first bench of Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy on Tuesday, wondering whether such political manoeuvres could be termed an act of malice.
“In a vibrant democracy, political support being either withdrawn or extended, or even by way of abstention can be a matter of purely personal opinion depending upon one’s thinking, philosophy and political relationships,” the judges said.
“Can it be said that any such action on account of political or personal considerations be a malicious transaction, if it is done voluntarily, according to one’s own belief, by exercising voting rights or abstention thereof inside the House? To attribute malice to such a transaction and hold it to be a foundation for a notice of breach of privilege may be a difficult task, as a breach of privilege and its complaint has to be examined only within the meaning of the words privilege and its breach,” the bench said.
“In our opinion, it is difficult to determine in these court proceedings that the notice which recites only the bringing in and exhibiting of a prohibited item inside the House was actuated by such malice,” the judges observed.
“We decline to go into the allegation of malice and malafides dependent upon the political developments regarding the sustenance of the government,” the bench said.
“We will say nothing further as it would not be appropriate to pronounce upon such an issue finally when the alleged breach may be examined by the committee of privileges,” the judges said, setting aside the privilege motion, and leaving it to the privilege committee to decide if any breach has been committed by the DMK MLAs who brought gutkha into the assembly.