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Calcutta HC Asks Speaker to File Affidavit on Appointment of Mukul Roy as PAC Chairman

The Calcutta High Court, on Tuesday, granted time till August 12 to the Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee to file his affidavit in response to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which seeks the removal of Mukul Roy from the post of Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the State Assembly.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj would hear the matter next on the same day.

The court allowed other relevant parties also to submit their corresponding affidavits within the same deadline.

Roy was appointed PAC Chairman for the year 2021-2022 by the Speaker on July 9, despite the principal opposition party BJP having submitted a list of at least six nominees to the post which did not include Roy.

The petitioner, BJP MLA Ambika Roy, maintained that Roy is currently under the scanner of the country’s anti-defection law since he had switched over to the Trinamool Congress on June 11, this year, despite having won the State polls from the Krishnanagar Uttar seat in a BJP ticket without having officially resigned either from the BJP or as an MLA.

The petition seeks to annul Roy’s appointment on grounds that the position of PAC Chairman is traditionally held by an elected member of the principal Opposition party.

Speaker Biman Banerjee is also in the process of hearing a petition filed against Roy’s appointment by Leader of Opposition in the House, Suvendu Adhikari.

Appearing on behalf of the Speaker, Advocate General Kishore Dutta earlier opposed the petition on grounds that the Speaker has the sole authority in the Assembly and it is for him to decide who was eligible for the post.

Claiming that Article 212 of the Constitution gives ultimate authority to the Speaker in conducting businesses of the House in which a court cannot interfere, Dutta argued that the PIL was not maintainable and should be dismissed.

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