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Court may not rule in the Congress' favour on the issue of Leader of Opposition
BJP has got the overwhelming majority in the just concluded 16th Lok Sabha elections with 282 seats in its coffer. Congress was at the second number in the seat count with mere 44 seats in its share out of 543 seats. To get the recognition as Leader of Opposition (LOP) in the lower house of Lok Sabha a party needs to get at least 10 per cent of total seats. But the Congress is short of 10 seats from that figure.

Despite not fulfilling the laid down criteria the Congress is adamant on getting the chair of LOP in the house. On the Congress' demand BJP is saying that the final call on the matter will be of speaker of the house.

The Congress party has said that if it was not recognized as the LOP in the house then it could move to the court. But will the court entertain Congress' plea and rule in its favour?

K.K Manan, former chairman of Bar Council of Delhi, said that the court cannot ignore the laid down procedure and since the Congress is short of the required number it might not get favorable decision.

"If there is a mandatory procedure than it (the court) cannot go against that procedure. Court can interpret the law but the court cannot cross the limits, boundaries led by the legislature. If they are short by 10 people, they may not get the relief. Unfortunately, there are few lawyers in the Congress who are misguiding (the party) since last ten years. And still the party high command doesn't understand, said Manan.

M.N. Krishnamani, Former President, Supreme Court's Bar Association, said, "Their (Congress) demand cannot be accommodated. They have no right because they don't have 10 per cent Lok Sabha seats of the total. The person who is leader of the Congress in the house always acts on behalf of the Congress party. So why they want the chair of leader of opposition, it is not required."

Subhash Kashyap, an expert of the Constitution, says, "I do not think that in this matter that they will win the case to get recognised as leader of opposition as they are short of 10 per cent. And I think court will follow its wisdom, it might dismiss the Congress case."

However, Prashant Bhushan, who is a senior Supreme Court lawyer and an AAP leader also, said that the court may rule in the Congress's favour, "I think they can (get favorable decision)."

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