7 BJP MLAs move Delhi HC challenging their suspension

Order unconstitutional, intended to impede opposition from seeking accountability: Plea
Delhi HC
Delhi HC (File Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has listed the plea by seven BJP MLAs challenging their indefinite suspension from the Delhi Assembly for interrupting the lieutenant governor’s address, for hearing on Tuesday.

Justice Subramonium Prasad will hear on February 20 whether to grant any interim relief to suspended legislators Mohan Singh Bisht, Ajay Mahawar, OP Sharma, Abhay Verma, Anil Bajpai, Jitender Mahajan and Vijender Gupta.

Senior advocate Jayant Mehta, appearing for the petitioners, said their indefinite suspension till the conclusion of the proceedings before the privileges committee was in violation of the applicable rules. He said the MLAs were consequently unable to attend the ongoing Budget session. He urged the court to facilitate their participation in the session.

“Tomorrow morning at 10:30. I will be only looking at interim,” Justice Prasad said.

The petitions came up for hearing before Justice Prasad after they were mentioned for urgent listing before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet PS Arora in the morning.

The BJP MLAs had allegedly interrupted L-G VK Saxena multiple times during his address on February 15 highlighting the achievements of the AAP government while they attacked the Kejriwal dispensation over a range of issues.

Senior advocate Mehta said 7 out of 8 Congress MLAs were suspended by the Speaker on February 16 when they had already been “marshalled out” the day before as the punishment for alleged wrongdoing. Even if it is assumed that the conduct of the petitioners was disruptive, the suspension cannot exceed three days, he added.

Mahawar, Gupta and Bajpai have contended that the entire opposition has been suspended from the Assembly, silencing all voices seeking accountability.

Their suspension was in violation of the Constitution and Rules of Business of the House, the legislators have said.

“On February 16, an unconstitutional motion was moved by Dilip Pandey for suspending the petitioners for an indefinite period till disposal of the adjudications in the cases pending before the committee of privilege. This was maliciously engineered to disable the opposition members to participate in the discussions on crucial businesses that were to be discussed and to also exclude them, albeit unconstitutionally, to participate in the budget session of the House,” the petitioners stated.

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