The Delhi High Court on Saturday sought the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s response on a plea of BJP MLA OP Sharma challenging his suspension for two sessions for allegedly making derogatory remarks against AAP MLA Alka Lamba.
Justice Manmohan Singh said, “The issue should have been resolved amicably in the Assembly itself.” He posted the matter for further hearing on July 28.
The court, meanwhile, directed that “counter-affidavit be filed by respondent no. 1 (Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi) within six weeks”.
During Friday’s arguments, the Delhi government contended that Sharma has misled the court by saying he was thrice suspended for his comments against Lamba, a charge denied by him.
Sharma’s lawyer argued that the Assembly’s March 31 decision to suspend him was “patently illegal” as it infringed the freedom of speech privilege available to a legislator. His lawyer argued that the Delhi Legislative Assembly cannot be “immune” from being made a party.
He contended that the ethics committee could not have dealt with the issue of privilege of a legislator and it should have been dealt by the privileges committee.
The court had on June 8 asked both Lamba and Sharma to appear before it on June 9 “with an open mind” to resolve the issue. However, no amicable resolution was arrived at.
The court noted in its order on Saturday that Sharma’s interim plea for stay of the suspension “has become infructuous (ineffective) and thus, the same cannot be granted” as the session was due to conclude on Friday itself.
The special session of Delhi Assembly was, however, on Friday evening extended by one day. The House will sit again on Monday.