Delhi HC reserves verdict on plea by 7 BJP MLAs on their suspension from Assembly | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi HC reserves verdict on plea by 7 BJP MLAs on their suspension from Assembly

Feb 27, 2024 01:01 PM IST

The MLAs after their suspension had met house speaker Ram Niwas Goel and tendered an apology to LG Saxena, which was accepted by him

New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Tuesday reserved the verdict in a plea filed by the seven Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs challenging their suspension from the Delhi Assembly for interrupting lieutenant governor’s (LG) VK Saxena’s address on the first day of the Budget session.

The MLAs said that the act of suspension and referring the matter to the privileges committee was illegal and untenable. (File photo)
The MLAs said that the act of suspension and referring the matter to the privileges committee was illegal and untenable. (File photo)

The verdict was reserved by a bench of justice Subramonium Prasad.

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In their plea to the high court, the MLAs said that the act of suspension and referring the matter to the privileges committee was illegal and untenable. They had submitted that they could only be suspended for a period of three days, in this case, the suspension was indefinite and that they could not be punished for the same offence twice.

The plea asked the court to permit them to participate in the Assembly proceedings, saying that non-participation would result in non-representation of the constituencies to which they belong. “The respondent (Delhi Legislative Assembly) does not have any power to pass a motion that resulted in the suspension of an elected MLA beyond the expiration of the immediate session of the legislative assembly. The petitioners belong to the BJP, the main opposition party in the Assembly. That the duties cast upon the speaker have not been exercised cautiously, carefully, and legally,” said the plea.

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On February 15, seven BJP MLAs — Mohan Singh Bisht, Ajay Mahawar, OP Sharma, Abhay Verma, Anil Vajpayi, Jitender Mahajan and Vijender Gupta — interrupted LG Saxena’s address outlining the policies and work of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government, following which they were marshalled out of the House by speaker Ram Niwas Goel. On February 16, the Assembly referred the matter to its privileges committee and suspended the seven MLAs till the panel took a decision.

The MLAs appearing through senior advocates Jayant Mehta and Kirti Uppal submitted that the February 16 motion was unconstitutional and that the MLAs could only be suspended for a period of three days, in this case, the suspension was indefinite and that they could not be punished for the same offence twice. Mehta also said that the motion also violated the MLAs right to participate in the assembly.

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

To be sure, the MLAs after their suspension had also met house speaker Ram Niwas Goel and tendered an apology to Saxena, which was accepted by him.

The Delhi assembly appearing through senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog submitted that the indefinite suspension of MLAs was not an attempt to stifle dissent in the House, but a self-discipline mechanism in the face of a series of misdemeanours by opposition legislators. Senior advocate also submitted that the MLAs by interrupting LGs address had violated the code of conduct and there was no question of the action being political in view of the “kind of majority” that the ruling AAP enjoys in the House.

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