Indefinite suspension from RS
NEW DELHI, Dec 1: The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the hearing on a plea of AAP MP Raghav Chadha challenging his suspension from the Upper House, after it was informed that “something constructive” is likely to happen in the matter.
A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra took note of the submissions made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared in the matter on behalf of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, that some progress in the matter is likely.
“If your lordships can hear this later, you may not have to consider many issues,” the top law officer said.
“Do not say anything about this matter … Just wait. Let us have a resolution,” the bench said and fixed the plea for further consideration on December 8. Lawyer Shadan Farasat, appearing in the court on behalf of Chadha, raised the issue of the eviction notice received by the Rajya Sabha MP of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with regard to his official bungalow and said that he be protected.
The bench asked Mehta to look into the issue.
Referring to another case related to eviction notices, the solicitor general said, “On this (suspension) ground, it would not happen.”
In the eviction case, the Delhi High Court had, on October 17, allowed Chadha to stay on in his government bungalow, setting aside a trial court order evicting him from the accommodation allotted to him in a prime location in the city. The trial court’s decision had cleared the decks for Chadha’s eviction from the bungalow.
Earlier, the bench had deferred the hearing on Chadha’s plea against suspension to December 1, after it was informed that there was some development on the issue.
Farasat had then said the deadline to send questions to the House for the Winter Session was expiring soon.
On November 3, the top court had told Chadha to tender an unconditional apology over the select committee row to Rajya Sabha Chairperson Jagdeep Dhankhar and said the latter may consider it “sympathetically”.
It had taken note of Farasat’s submissions that the first-time and youngest lawmaker from the “House of Elders” was willing to apologise to Dhankhar.
Chadha has been under suspension since August 11 after some MPs, a majority of them from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accused him of adding their names to a motion without their consent. The motion sought the constitution of a select committee to examine the contentious Delhi Services Bill.
It was alleged that the Rajya Sabha MP had moved a motion to refer the Delhi Services Bill to the select committee.
He had allegedly named some lawmakers as members of the proposed committee and it was claimed that some of the MPs had not given their consent for it. (PTI)
Taking note of the complaint, the chairman had suspended the AAP leader, pending an inquiry by the Committee of Privileges.
Earlier, the CJI-led bench had said the indefinite suspension of an MP could have very serious repercussions for the right of people to be represented by a person of their choice.
It had asked whether the privileges committee could order Chadha’s suspension from the Rajya Sabha for an unspecified duration.
The top court had said the exclusion of a member of the opposition from the House, just because of a perspective that may not be consistent with the viewpoint of the government, is a serious issue.
It had said the only charge against Chadha was that he did not seek permission from some MPs before including their names in a proposed select committee and sought to know from the attorney general if it could be considered an infraction warranting indefinite suspension.
In his plea, the AAP leader has said the power to suspend indefinitely is dangerously open to excesses and abuse.
“The power to suspend is meant only to be used as a shield and not as a sword, that is, it cannot be penal,” the plea has said.
“The suspension is in clear breach of Rule 256 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States, which incorporates a categorical prohibition against the suspension of any member for a period exceeding the remainder of the session,” it has added.
The Rajya Sabha passed a motion moved by Leader of the House Piyush Goyal on August 11 seeking action against Chadha. The AAP MP was suspended on the last day of the Monsoon Session for “gross violation of rules, misconduct, defiant attitude and contemptuous conduct”, pending a report by the privileges committee. (PTI)
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