Are you willing to apologise to LG, Delhi HC asks suspended BJP MLAs

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New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the seven suspended BJP MLAs if they are willing to tender an apology to Lt Governor V.K. Saxena.

The seven BJP MLAs — Mohan Singh Bisht, Ajay Mahawar, O.P. Sharma, Abhay Verma, Anil Vajpayi, Jitender Mahajan, and Vijender Gupta — moved the High Court on Monday challenging their suspension for the remainder of the Budget session of the Delhi Assembly, saying it was maliciously engineered to disable the opposition members from participating in the discussions.

The members were suspended for allegedly interrupting Saxena’s address, highlighting AAP government achievements on February 15.

Senior counsel Sudhir Nandrajog, representing the Assembly, mentioned the non-political nature of the matter, stressing its significance in upholding the dignity of the LG’s office. He referenced a similar approach taken in the Supreme Court regarding MP Raghav Chadha’s case, suggesting that a resolution could be reached through apology.

Senior advocate Jayant Mehta, representing the MLAs, expressed openness to apologising to the LG, indicating a potential path towards resolving the issue amicably.

Justice Subramonium Prasad, who will now hear the matter on Wednesday, asked the petitioners’ counsel to come back with instructions.

The MLAs petition reads: “Petitioners being connected to the ground reality, found that the government had not instructed the Hon’ble LG correctly and some of the facts mentioned by him were incorrect.”

They said that they were “discharging their constitutional duty to inform the House of the correct facts, and that they stated the real facts on the subjects highlighted by the LG, who however, continued to read the text of his speech”.

Mehta had, on Monday, argued that the suspension is unconstitutional and contrary to rules, affecting their right to participate in proceedings. The writ petition states: “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 have contended that if the entire opposition is suspended from the House (as has been done, unconstitutionally), it was planned that there would be no voice demanding accountability from the government.

“The aforesaid motion has been passed by the House given the number of members of the ruling party. By the impugned motion, the entire opposition has been suspended from the House silencing any voice for accountability,” their petition reads, adding that this is grossly unconstitutional and even contrary to Rules of Business of the House.

Mehta had said that the motion to suspend them was excessive, advocating for a maximum three-day suspension instead of indefinite.

AAP MLA Dilip Pandey initiated the resolution in the House, which Speaker Ram Niwas Goel accepted. The matter was also forwarded to the Privileges Committee. The suspended MLAs, except Leader of Opposition Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, are barred from Assembly proceedings until the committee’s report is concluded.



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