Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the ex-officio chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, has set a precedent while disqualifying former Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav from the Upper House.
Naidu has taken approximately three months to decide the case.
While the JD(U) petition demanding Sharad Yadav's disqualification was filed before him on September 2, the vice-president's order came on December 4.
Earlier, such cases would keep pending for years together. However, Naidu has altered that.
In his order disqualifying Sharad Yadav from the Rajya Sabha, Naidu said, "There has been widespread criticism of some presiding officers, who did not take a decision on the disqualification petitions, under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution of India, within reasonable time."
"It has been noticed that the Supreme Court also expressed its concern about the unnecessary delay in deciding these petitions by the presiding officers of the legislatures."
The vice-president cited a couple of cases and said the courts have expressed concern about the unnecessary delay in deciding such petitions.
Naidu said, "I am of the considered opinion that such petitions which go to the root of the democratic functioning and which raise the question, whether a particular legislator is entitled to sit in the legislature or not, should not be kept pending and dragged on by the presiding officers, with a view to save the membership of the persons, who have otherwise incurred disqualification or even to save the government, which enjoys majority only because of such type of persons.
"I am of the view that all such petitions should be decided by the presiding officers within a period of around three months, of course, by giving an opportunity, as per law, to the concerned members against whom there are allegations, which lead to their disqualification under the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution of India, so as to effectively thwart the evil of political defections, which if left uncurbed are likely to undermine the very foundations of our democracy and the principles which sustain it," he added.
He said that the very fact that only seven days time has been allowed in the sub-rule (3) of Rule 7 of the Rules to the respondent to furnish his comments on a disqualification petition filed against him is clearly indicative of the intent of the Rule for expeditious disposal of disqualification petition.
On perusal of the records of the previous cases, Naidu observed that the procedural requirements of the Committee of Privileges often entail a longer time frame for conduct of preliminary inquiry and preparation and submission of final report, ultimately causing a delay in the proceedings and determination of the final question, which is against the very grain and object of the Tenth Schedule.
"This also tantamount to subverting the essence of the Anti-Defection Law, namely, to curb the menace of defection, by allowing a member to continue his membership without facing the consequences of defection," he said.
Leader of JD(U) in Rajya Sabha RCP Singh files a petition against Sharad Yadav.
Naidu's office forwards Singh's petition along with all annexures to Sharad Yadav with the request to furnish his comments in writing within seven days of the receipt of the same.
Sharad Yadav writes two letters seeking extension of one month's time for replying.
Rajya Sabha Secretariat grants extension of time to Sharad Yadav till the September 25.
Sharad Yadav furnishes his comments.
Sharad Yadav's comments are forwarded to RCP Singh for his reply within seven days of receipt of the same.
Sharad Yadav requests a personal hearing.
RCP Singh replies reiterating the facts already stated in his petition.
Rajya Sabha Secretariat issues notice to Sharad Yadav, forwards RCP Singh's reply to him, allows personal hearing on October 30.
Sharad Yadav seeks extension of eight weeks' time for appearing for the oral hearing citing engagements relating to the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.
Naidu grants one week's extension to Sharad Yadav and directs him to appear in person November 8.
Sharad Yadav requests Naidu to allow him to appear for the oral hearing accompanied by two advocates - Kapil Sibal and Devadatt Kamat.
Sharad Yadav sends another letter requesting to allow four more advocates - Mohammad Nizamuddin Pasha, Javedur Rahman, Rajesh Inamdar and Aditya Bhatt.
Naidu rejects Sharad Yadav's request for advocates.
Sharad Yadav appears in person before Naidu.
Naidu orders disqualification of Sharad Yadav.