Legislators are servants and not slaves of people, the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday said.
It gave the ruling while dismissing a petition filed last month by a ruling ally, which sought disqualification of two former Congress legislators who quit their party to join the BJP in October this year.
While imposing a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioner, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, Justices RM Borde and Prithviraj Chavan expressed their displeasure at political parties burdening courts with petitions for political objectives.
The court said there is nothing in the Constitution which takes away the right of an elected member to resign from his seat.
"Denial of such a right to an elected member would be destructive of the principles of democracy. A legislator is a servant but not a slave of the people. It is true that frequent resignations and frequent by-elections are a drain on the finances of the State and may prove irksome," the order said. "But that is no reason to compel an elected member who has no desire to continue his membership to continue as such. A person, after getting elected, may, for variety of reasons, desire not to continue as a Member."
In its petition last month, the MGP sought disqualification of now former Congress MLAs Subhash Shirodkar and Dayanand Sopte and setting aside of Speaker Pramod Sawant's acceptance of their resignations claiming the two had been lured by the BJP using unfair means.
The petition also said that the two had been lured into a switch-over in order to ensure that the Congress -- which after the defection has 14 MLAs, the same number as the BJP -- cannot claim a majority and a right to form a government.
The Court saw little merit in the petition.
"We must place on record our displeasure for filing petitions by political parties with a view to achieve their political objectives and usurping the precious time of the court which, otherwise, can be utilised for disposal of the matters brought before the court by the needy and poor," it said.
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