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7 suspended BJP MLAs reinstated to the Delhi Assembly by Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

By Shreya Agarwal      07 March, 2024 06:40 PM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has reinstated the 7 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) who were suspended for allegedly interrupting Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena’s address to the assembly at the start of the Budget session.

The Court held that “the direction for suspending the Petitioners till the Committee of Privileges takes a decision cannot be sustained”, as there had been no application of mind by the Speaker in referring the matter to the Committee of Privileges, the MLAs were not heard while being suspended till the matter is pending before the Committee,“and since the punishment under Rule 77 of Chapter XI can be prescribed only after a Member is heard”.

Further noting that the MLAs have already undergone the suspension of 14 sittings, the Court permitted them to rejoin the House forthwith. 

Holding thus, it disposed of the writ petitions.

The bench had reserved its verdict on February 27 on the petitions by the legislators.

The MLAs, represented by Sr. Advocates Jayant Mehta and Kirti Uppal, argued that the February 16 motion was unconstitutional and that they could only have been suspended for a maximum of three days.

The Court agreed with their contentions and reasoned that the MLAs had been given a punishment under Rule 44 of the Fifth Schedule which was not prescribed under the provision at all.

Further, it observed that they had not only been given a punishment in excess of what can be given under Rule 44 of the Fifth Schedule but had also been actually “given a punishment under Rule 77 of Chapter XI which is a suspension for an indefinite period without even being heard.”

“They have punished me already and I am suspended. What the house has done through the motion is an unknown species. It’s not known by the rules at all. You have already inflicted the punishment on me,” Mehta had submitted.

On February 15, seven BJP MLAs — Mohan Singh Bisht, Ajay Mahawar, OP Sharma, Abhay Verma, Anil Vajpayi, Jitender Mahajan and Vijender Gupta Petitioners along with other Members of the House had interrupted the address of the Lieutenant Governor and marched out. 

They were permitted to rejoin in the next sitting on February 16.

The same day, a motion was moved against them by Dilip Kumar Pandey, Chief Whip of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), and the House took the decision to refer the question of breach of privilege and contempt to the Committee of Privileges and suspended the Petitioners till the Committee of Privileges would submit its findings.

They had allegedly interrupted LG Saxena’s address outlining the policies and work of the Delhi government.

The MLAs had met the assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel after their suspension and tendered an apology to Saxena which was accepted by him.

 

[Read Judgment]



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