However, Soren’s defence was that the Supreme Court had exempted mining leases in several judgments, and in any case he had surrendered the lease to quarry stones.
Former CEC OP Rawat told Telegraph, “The EC has no role (to play after giving its opinion to the governor).
On being asked whether reforms were required in law to prevent the trend of MLAs being sequestered in resorts to insulate them from poaching attempts, Rawat said: “The government will not fall if the chief minister is disqualified.”
Existing laws allow a person to be a minister for six months without being a member of the legislature, during which time the person is expected to get elected.
“Also, he (Soren) has surrendered the mining lease for which disqualification was sought. So there is no bar on him to continue as chief minister even if he is disqualified as an MLA.”
As per article Article 192 (2) of the Constitution: “Before giving any decision on any such question (of the disqualification of MLAs), the Governor shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and shall act according to such opinion.”
“Whatever the opinion of the EC — to disqualify or not to disqualify — the governor has to issue a speaking order which is the opinion of the EC attested by him. Article 192 does not impose a deadline on the governor but it is upon his conscience to only take a reasonable amount of time to act according to the EC’s opinion. Reasonable time cannot be defined legally as it is a matter of justice,” ‘The Telegraph’ quoted another former CEC on condition of anonymity.
“The EC functions as a quasi-judicial body in this regard, and since its reference is from the governor it can only communicate its opinion to the governor and no one else. The governor informs the EC of whatever action he takes. For years on end, Speakers often sit on petitions to disqualify MLAs for defecting even after directions from courts, because reasonable time is not defined in law.”