Delhi high court sets aside suspension of 7 BJP legislators | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi high court sets aside suspension of 7 BJP legislators

Mar 06, 2024 03:40 PM IST

On February 15, seven BJP MLAs interrupted LG VK Saxena’s address outlining the policies and work of the Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi government

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Wednesday set aside the suspension of the seven Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators for interrupting lieutenant governor VK Saxena’s address to the assembly at the start of the Budget session.

A bench of justice Subramonium Prasad had reserved its verdict on February 27 (HT Photo/Shruti Kakkar)
A bench of justice Subramonium Prasad had reserved its verdict on February 27 (HT Photo/Shruti Kakkar)

“The petition is allowed,” a bench of justice Subramonium Prasad said on Wednesday, pronouncing the verdict on a petition by the BJP lawmakers. The bench reserved its verdict on February 27 on a petition by the legislators who argued that their suspension and a reference to the privileges committee was illegal and untenable.

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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’s 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.

To be sure, the LG reads the speech prepared by the elected government at the first session of the assembly in the new year as mandated under Section 10 of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act.

Senior lawyers Jayant Mehta and Kirti Uppal, who appeared for the BJP legislators, said the February 16 motion was unconstitutional and that the MLAs could only be suspended for a maximum of three days,

They asked the high 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 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 senior lawyers said.

“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 submitted.

To be sure, the MLAs met assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel after their suspension 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.

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