The Governor, Mr Bharat Vir Wanchoo has disposed off the disqualification petition filed before him, against the Aldona MLA, Mr Glen Ticlo stating that he has no jurisdiction to decide under Article 192 (1) of the Constitution.
It may be recalled that the two Congress workers, Mr Sudip Tamhankar and Mr Amarnath Panjikar had filed a petition before the Governor seeking disqualification of Mr Ticlo, a sitting legislator of the ruling combine from Aldona constituency, for being a citizen of Portugal. They had argued that failing to be a citizen of India automatically disqualifies the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA.
Welcoming the decision, the Bharatiya Janata Party said that this was expected from an erudite Governor. The senior BJP state leader, Dr Wilfred Mesquita told ‘The Navhind Times’ that the decision is just since no case existed in the first place.
The petitioners, in their petition had urged the Governor to refer the particular case to the Election Commission of India and obtain the opinion of the Commission. They had also pointed out that Mr Ticlo was a foreign national holding constitutional position of MLA, which he was not entitled to and which was in total violation of the law and Constitution of India. Furthermore, it was prayed that Mr Ticlo be suspended from functioning as an elected member of the state legislative assembly, pending final decision.
Finally, the petition also includes a prayer that the Aldona legislator be disqualified as member of the House, by the Governor, on receiving opinion of ECI in terms of Articles 191(1) (d) and 192(2) and that the Aldona seat in the state legislative assembly be declared vacant and declare by-elections to it.
The Article 191 (1) (d) about disqualification of membership of the House states, “A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council of a State (d) if he is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State, or is under any acknowledgment of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State.
The Article 192 (1) about decision on questions as to disqualification of members states, “If any question arises as to whether a member of a House of the Legislature of a State has become subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in clause (1) of Article 191, the question shall be referred for the decision of the Governor and his decision shall be final.”
The Article 192 (2), on the other hand states, “If any question arises as to whether a member of a House of the Legislature of a State has become subject to any of the disqualifications mentioned in clause (1) of Article 191, before giving any decision on any such question, the Governor shall obtain the opinion of the Election Commission and shall act according to such opinion.” [NT]