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Delhi HC Reserves Order On Pleas Of 7 BJP MLAs Against Suspension

During the hearing, the High court had asked the privilege committee to hold its hand from taking action. The matter was referred to the committee after the suspension

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday reserved its on order on pleas of seven BJP MLAs who challenged their suspension from Delhi legislative Assembly for an indefinite period.

During the hearing, the High court had asked the privilege committee to hold its hand from taking action. The matter was referred to the committee after the suspension.

BJP MLAs Vijender Gupta, Ajay Kumar Mahavar, Abhay Verma, Anil Kumar Vajpayee, OP Sharma, Mohan Singh Bisht and Jitendra Mahajan had challenged their suspension.

These seven MLAs have been suspended for allegedly disturbing the Delhi Assembly on February 15 during an address by the LG.

Justice Subramonium Prasad reserved the order on the pleas after hearing the arguments by the counsels for MLAs and Speaker Delhi Legislative Assembly.

The bench has asked the counsels to file written submissions.

The High Court reserved its order after hearing the arguements by Senior advocate Jayant Mehta, Kirti Uppal and Pavan Narang for the MLAs. Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog and advocate Sameer Vasisht appeared for the respondent.

It is contended that the motion for suspension of MLAs was unconstitutional and violative of their constitutional rights under Article 14, 19 and 22 of Constitution of India.

The senior advocates submitted that they were punished for their alleged misconduct by marshalling out by the Speaker. Then, how. can a motion be passed in this regard. How can they be punished twice for a single act of violation, the counsel argued.

It was further argued that in passing the motion the procedures were not followed as it had mentioned of MLAs against whom it is passed. They matter was also referred to privilege committee.

Secondly, the MLAs have been suspended till the disposal of the matter by the privilege committee. This is indefinite period. The suspension can not be for an indefinite period.

The Counsels further argued that MLAs represent a constituency and same cannot be left unrepresented for indefinite period.

It was also argued that the MLAs' right of freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 of Constitution of India has also been violated. They are representative of people their constituency and therefore the right of the people is also violated.

During the earlier hearing, the counsels for MLAs had also submitted that there some political comments made in the issue like What you did with Rajya Sabha members of AAP.

This matter is being compared to that of Raaghav Chaddha to give it a political color, the counsels had said.

It should not be done while the matter is before the court of law, the counsel had submitted.

Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog had appeared for Delhi Legislative Assembly Speaker and submitted.

It was argued that an MLA can not be suspended for an indefinite period of time.

Senior advocate Jayant Mehta had submitted these seven out of eight MLSs have been suspended for indefinite undefined period of time for representing the true factual position before the LG during his address on February 15, 2024.

He had also submitted that a motion for suspension of seven BJP MLs was passed with the voice vote for indefinite period on February 16, 2024.

The court asked show how the rules were violated and whether a petition can be heard when privilege committee is hearing the matter.

Senior advocate Mehta submitted that the supreme court has already said that you can not suspend for indefinite period.

There is a graded punishment that has to be followed. The privilege committee is hearing the matter and the punishment has been given, he added.

The maximum punishment can be given for three days in first incident. This is the first punishment, Mehta submitted.

Senior advocate Jayant Mehta submitted that it is Punishment if I am not allowed me to participate being an MLA.

The motion for suspension of BJP MLAs was introduced by AAP MLA Dilip Pandey which passed by a voice vote.

It was submitted on behalf of MLA Ajay Kumar Mahavar that the LG was addressing the House of February 15. Certain assertion were made in the speech of LG which were factually. It was objected. My objection was factual and to ensure the sanctity of the house is maintained. Despite, seven out of eight MLAs were marshalled out, senior advocate Mehta submitted.

Interestingly, some of the MLAs of ruling party were also disturbing the house, he added.

It was also submitted that they were allowed to attend the post lunch session. Out of nowhere and contrary to the rules, a motion was moved by member of ruling party and it was passed by a voice vote.

Justice Prasad had said that, "When you are marshalled out, according to you that is in compliance of Rule 44. Your principal argument is that you are now being punishment twice for same argument. Let's assume a person is so disorderly that once you have been marshalled out does it take away the right of the privileges committee to examine if a stricter punishment is needed to be imposed?"

The bench also said that there is a limitation to interference to the affairs of the house.

Delhi BJP MLAs, who were suspended for the remainder of the Budget session of the Delhi Assembly, have moved to the Delhi High Court and challenged the decision of their suspension.

The matter was mentioned before the bench of acting chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora which allowed it for listing of the matter.

Senior Advocate Jayant Mehta mentioned the matter before the bench on behalf of the BJP MLAs. It was submitted that the suspension of opposition MLAs is completely wrong and their right to participate in the proceedings is being affected.

Mehta during mentioning also submitted that the motion to suspend the MLAs is unconstitutional and contrary to the rules.

The budget session of the Delhi assembly began on February 15, 2024 with the LG outlining the policies, programmes and work of the AAP-led Delhi government in the fields of education, health, transport, social welfare, infrastructure, etc.

It was alleged that as LG Saxena began his speech mentioning AAP's achievements, BJP MLA and former leader of opposition Vijender Gupta interrupted. Later other BJP MLAs also continued interrupting LG speech while he was highlighted various achievements of the government.

(ANI)


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