High Court Permits BJP MLA Vijender Gupta To Attend Delhi Assembly On Monday, Directs Him To Maintain Dignity Of House
The Delhi High Court on Friday permitted BJP MLA Vijender Gupta to attend the Delhi Legislative Assembly on Monday, the last day of the budget session till remainder of the session and directed him to maintain the dignity of the House. Justice Prathiba M Singh disposed of Gupta’s plea challenging the motion passed by Assembly suspending him from attending the sittings of the House for one...
The Delhi High Court on Friday permitted BJP MLA Vijender Gupta to attend the Delhi Legislative Assembly on Monday, the last day of the budget session till remainder of the session and directed him to maintain the dignity of the House.
Justice Prathiba M Singh disposed of Gupta’s plea challenging the motion passed by Assembly suspending him from attending the sittings of the House for one year till the next Budget Session.
His suspension came into effect on March 21.
Perusing the summary of proceedings of the House of the relevant day, the court said that there was disturbance caused by both Gupta and the members of the ruling party.
“There is no gainsaying that the Members of the Legislative Assembly or any other elected house have to maintain dignity of the house in order to play a positive role owing to the mandate of the people. only be gainsaid that the members of a legislative assembly or an elected house have to maintain the dignity,” Justice Singh observed.
Senior Advocate Jayant Mehta, appearing for Gupta, placed reliance on Rule 272 of Rules of Procedure & Conduct of Business, Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi which states that the suspension of a member has to be done in a “graded manner.”
He submitted that on first occasion, the suspension can be ordered for three sittings only. For second occasion, a member can be suspended for seven sittings and for another occasion, it can be for the remainder of the session, he told court.
However, Mehta argued that Gupta has been suspended for a year which is not in accordance with the provision.
It was also submitted that the debate arose due to a motion moved by Gupta with respect to the selective publication of a part of the budget. Mehta also relied on a Supreme Court judgment to contend that the graded suspension in terms of the Rules alone can be followed.
On the other hand, Advocate Samir Vashisht, appearing for the Delhi government, placed reliance on section 37 of GNCTD Act, 1991 to submit that the suspension cannot be inquired into by any court.
He also submitted that Gupta’s suspension was done by the House itself and not the speaker and therefore, the House is fully empowered to issue a punishment of higher nature.
Perusing the Rules and judgment of the Supreme Court, the court said that Rule 272 clearly states that the suspension has to be done in graded manner.
“The Budget Session of the Delhi Legislative Assembly is currently ongoing and the Petitioner has already remained suspended for four days i.e. 21st March, 2023; 22nd March, 2023; 23rd March, 2023 and 24th March, 2023 in view of the impugned suspension order. A perusal of the summary of proceedings extracted above shows that there was disturbance caused during the sitting of the House both by the Petitioner, as also by ruling party members,” the court observed.
It added: “The record of the proceedings shows that this was the first suspension which was meted out to the Petitioner. Accordingly, in terms of Rule 227(3)(b), the suspension could have only to be for a period of three days which the Petitioner has already served in effect.”
While disposing of the plea, Justice Singh however said that the question of law raised by Vashishth with respect to Rule 77 and Rule 277 are left open to be decided in an appropriate manner.
Gupta was also represented by Advocates Pavan Narang, Neeraj and Satya Ranjan Swain.
It was submitted in the plea that the order passed by the Speaker of Delhi Assembly is unjust, unfair and unreasonable. The petition saud that the order is non est and violates the “Rules of Procedure & Conduct of Business, Legislative Assembly of National Capital Territory of Delhi.”
“…the impugned action of the Hon'ble Speaker in permitting a ruling party MLA to move and proceed with the Motion to seek suspension of the Petitioner from the House for a period of one year does not come within the definition of irregular proceedings' but in fact is a classic case of being categorized as 'gross illegal' and "unconstitutional' but also contravention / violation of fundamental rights of the Petitioner under Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India,” the plea contended.
Title: VIJENDER GUPTA v. LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL TERRITORY OF DELHI THROUGH SECRETARY & ANR.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 266