Alagaapuram R. Mohanraj & Others vs Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly

 Alagaapuram R. Mohanraj & Others vs Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Rep. by its Secretary  - Supreme Court Important Judgment 2016 - 

 

On 12th February, 2016, in the case of Alagaapuram R. Mohanraj & Others vs Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Rep. by its Secretary & Another [Writ Petition (Civil) No. 455 of 2015], it was held that “the scope and amplitude of the freedom of speech inhering in a citizen and available to a member of the legislative body are totally different. No citizen has a right to enter the legislative body and exercise his freedom of speech unless he first gets elected to such a legislative body in accordance with law. No legislator would continue to enjoy the freedom of speech contemplated under Articles 105 and 194 of the Constitution after the cessation of the membership of the legislative body.” It was further held that “no doubt, when a legislator is prevented from participating in the proceedings of the House during the currency of the membership by virtue of some proceedings taken against such a legislator, there would be a curtailment of the legislator’s constitutional right of free speech in the House of which such legislator is a member. But such curtailment is sanctioned by Constitution in view of the fact that such a right is made subject to other provisions of the Constitution, the rules and standing orders regulating the procedure of the legislative bodies.” In this case, the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had also resolved that the petitioners should not be paid their salaries or given other benefits which are due to them as members of the Legislative Assembly for the period of suspension. While examining the validity of this resolution, it was further held that “salary and other benefits to which the members of a legislative body are entitled to during their tenure are purely incidental to the membership and they don’t even create an independent and indefeasible constitutional right. Therefore, the question that the deprivation of such benefits amounted to deprivation of fundamental right under Article 21 does not arise at all.”

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