The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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MLA remark

New Delhi, July 19: Expressing “deepest anguish’’ over a legislator imputing mala fide intentions to judges in his speech in the Karnataka Assembly, the Supreme Court today said its shoulders were strong enough to withstand such criticism.

“Though it was said on the floor of the House and has total immunity, it is unfortunate that elected representatives are indulging in these activities,’’ a bench headed by Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal said after it was pointed out that Janata Dal (Secular) MLA Rajanna had made stinging remarks against the judges who cleared the Bangalore-Mysore expressway project.

The MLA had alleged in his speech on July 4 that the judges who delivered the verdict in favour of the project had an eye on post-retirement benefits.

Taking serious note of the the MLA’s speech, the court said elected representatives should not make such remarks against the judiciary. But for Article 194 of the Constitution, which grants freedom of speech in legislatures, the MLA would have been liable to contempt of court. According to Article 194, no member of any state legislature “shall be liable to any proceedings in any court’’ in respect of anything said in the House.

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