Will You Apologise To Lt Governor, Delhi Court Asks Suspended BJP MLAs

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Will You Apologise To Lt Governor, Delhi Court Asks Suspended BJP MLAs

Seven BJP MLAs had approached the Delhi High Court on Monday challenging their indefinite suspension.

New Delhi:

Seeking to resolve the stand-off over the suspension of seven BJP MLAs, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked them whether they were prepared to apologise to the lieutenant governor for repeatedly interrupting his address to the legislative assembly that prompted action against them.

Justice Subramonium Prasad asked the senior counsel for the suspended legislators to take instructions on this after the lawyer representing the assembly said a similar approach was adopted in the Supreme Court to end the suspension of Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha.

Appearing for the assembly, senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog said the matter is not political and involves the dignity of the office of the LG.

“I spoke to the speaker. He also suggested the route followed by the Supreme Court in Raghav Chadha’s case. If members were to come and meet the speaker and apologise to the LG, the whole thing could be put through,” he said.

Senior advocate Jayant Mehta, appearing for the lawmakers, said they had no problem apologising to the LG.

The court asked the petitioners’ counsel to come back in the post-lunch session with instructions.

Subsequently, the court was informed there was some “development” in the matter, following which the petitions were directed to be called for consideration on February 21.

The seven BJP MLAs — Mohan Singh Bisht, Ajay Mahawar, O P Sharma, Abhay Verma, Anil Bajpai, Jitender Mahajan and Vijender Gupta — approached the high court on Monday challenging their indefinite suspension from the Assembly for interrupting Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena’s address.

They said their suspension till the conclusion of proceedings before the privileges committee was in violation of the applicable rules and the MLAs were consequently unable to attend the ongoing Budget session.

The BJP MLAs had interrupted Saxena multiple times during his address on February 15 as he highlighted the achievements of the AAP government, while they attacked the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation on a range of issues.

The petitions by the MLAs said 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 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 on behalf of Mahawar, Gupta and Bajpai said.

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.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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