The Supreme Court has issued a Notice to the Secretary General of Lok Sabha and Secretary of the State Legislative Assemblies of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand while hearing a plea that highlighted the existing vacancy for the post of Deputy Speaker in Lok Sabha and State Legislatures.

A Bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala was hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Advocate Shariq Ahmed on the issue.

Issue Notice to Union of India and Respondent No. 3,6,9,12,15 and 18 (i.e. Principal Secretary of respective State Legislative Assembly) and Respondent No. 4,7,10,13 and 16 (i.e. concerned States). We request learned Attorney General to assist the Court”, ordered the Bench.

Senior Advocate Vibha Datta Makhija, appearing for the petitioner, apprised the Court that the constitutional mandate is being defeated due to non-election to the post of Deputy Speaker. She added that vacancy also exists in the State of Manipur, in addition to the House of People i.e. Lok Sabha and State Legislatures of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jharkhand.

Additional Solicitor General Vikramjit Banerjee appeared for respondents before the Court.

Article 93 of the Constitution provides that “The House of the People shall, as soon as may be, choose two members of the House to be respectively Speaker and Deputy Speaker thereof and, so often as the office of Speaker or Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, the House shall choose another member to be Speaker or Deputy Speaker, as the case may be”.

Similarly, Article 178 of the Constitution contains provisions in similar terms for the post of Speaker and Deputy Speaker for the Legislative Assembly of the States.

The Court has sought responses from the Union of India and the concerned States. However, the Court declined to issue Notice to the State of Manipur as it was not mentioned in the plea as a respondent party. The Court has also sought the appearance of the Attorney General for India to assist it during the hearing of the matter.

The Court directed the listing of the matter after two weeks on February 27.

Cause Title- Shariq Ahmed v. Union of India and Ors