The Delhi High Court today reserved its order on a PIL seeking appointment of Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Lok Sabha from a party which has the second highest number of MPs in the House. A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw completed the arguments in the matter and observed, "You have earlier moved the Supreme Court on the same issue". "Your prayer may be differently-worded but you are seeking the same relief. We will pass an order," the bench said.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by lawyer M L Sharma seeking that it "appoint a member of the house as a leader of opposition who has support of the largest numerical number of the members of opposition in the house via ballot of voting or otherwise within the constitutional concept of the democracy in India." The petitioner also seeks quashing of the statement of first Speaker of Lok Sabha G V Mavalankar which rules that a party needs 10 per cent member strength to be the main opposition party.
Sharma also submitted that the issue of appointment of LoP is to be read with the provision of the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977. "Section 2 of the 1977 Act defines the LoP of each House as the leader in that House of the party in opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength. Therefore, a person who is the leader of the greatest numerical strength is to be declared as a Leader of the Opposition," he said.
The plea also sought "to have a judicial review of the action of the respondent's denial to appoint leader of opposition in Lok Sabha, after calling records...to resolve constitutional crises and to issue proper direction to appoint leader of opposition in the house of people in accordance of law and constitutional arrangement." Earlier, on August 8, the Supreme Court had dismissed the petitioner's PIL seeking that the LoP status in Lok Sabha be granted to Congress party, saying it cannot decide political issues filed under the garb of Public Interest Litigation.