Seven BJP MLAs move Delhi HC challenging suspension from House

07:24 PM Feb 19, 2024 | PTI |

New Delhi: Seven BJP MLAs approached the Delhi High Court on Monday challenging their indefinite suspension from the Delhi Assembly for interrupting the lieutenant governor’s address.


Justice Subramonium Prasad listed the matter for hearing on February 20 on 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 Lt Governor (LG) VK Saxena multiple times during his address on February 15 highlighting the achievements of the AAP government while they attacked the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation on 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, which should have been considered as the punishment for their alleged wrongdoing.

Even if it is assumed that the conduct of the petitioners was disruptive, the suspension cannot exceed three days, he added.

Senior advocates Kirti Uppal and Malvika Trivedi also appeared for the petitioners.

Mahawar, Gupta and Bajpai have contended the entire opposition has been suspended from the House, silencing any voice for accountability. Their suspension was in violation of the Constitution and Rules of Business of the House, the lawmakers have said.

”Surprisingly and shockingly, on 16.02.2024, an unconstitutional motion was moved by Sh. 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 plea stated.

”The Order of the Hon ‘ble Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi is unconstitutional, unjust, unfair and, in any event, selective and grossly disproportionate. It violates the fundamental and constitutional rights of the Petitioners,” the petition filed through advocate Satya Ranjan Swain added.

It asserted that the conduct of the suspended legislators did not amount to ”unruly behaviour” as they only highlighted different aspects related to the speech delivered by the LG but the Speaker ”intentionally and deliberately only suspended the opposition MLAs”.

The petitions added their suspension violates Article 19(1)(a) (right to freedom of speech and expression) of the Constitution of India and the rights and privileges of the MLAs as well as the principle of ”proportionality” and ”rationality”.

”The Order of the Hon’ble Speaker dated 16.02.2024 is a clear case of violation of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi. It is respectfully submitted that at one hand the Hon’ble Speaker has referred the case to Privilege committee and in the same breath, has suspended 7 MLAs of the opposition party.

”It is noteworthy to mention that the MLAs were punished/suspended before the Privilege committee gave its findings/report. This action will tantamount to punishment without adjudication,” the plea said.

It also alleged that the act of the speaker was ”ex facie discriminatory”.

The plea highlighted that the budget is the last full budget before the assembly elections in 2025 and therefore the presence of the opposition members was of utmost importance.

AAP MLA Dilip Pandey had moved a resolution in the House for their suspension which was accepted by Speaker Ram Niwas Goel who had on February 15 referred the issue to the privileges committee.

Seven members of the BJP barring Leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri have been barred from attending the proceedings.

The Budget session has been extended till the first week of March due to delay in budget finalisation.


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