Disqualification petition under the 10th Schedule aimed at resisting elected members from switching parties has turned out to be a tool for political ends.
Experienced not only in Goa but all over the country indicates that disqualification petitions are used to browbeat elected representatives to toe the line of the ruling dispensation.
Present Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker Pratapsing Rane is sitting cozily over two disqualification petitions filed before him. One of which is the one filed by Micky Pacheco against PWD Minister Churchill Alemao and Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco.
Rane initially showed a lot of interest in the other disqualification petition filed against the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party legislators Sudin Dhawlikar and Deepak Dhawlikar.
However, after the Dhawlikar Brothers extended support to the Digambar-led Congress government, the hearing lost its steam.
Given the fact that the elections are slated very soon, whether the speaker will decide upon the petition or not is a million dollar question.
Incidentally, even the courts do not serve the purpose in appellate matters as inevitably when the order comes; it is influctious as the assembly by then most often has completed its term.
Matanhy Saldanha’s appeal against his disqualification is still pending before the Bombay High Court at Goa.
The only exception to this has been the disqualification of Dr. Luis Proto Barbosa which was decided by the court necessitating a bye-election in Loutulim constituency.
The latest exception is the Supreme Court decision on the disqualification of the 18 MLAs by the Karnataka Speaker which was pronounced on Friday.