Delhi High Court reinstates seven BJP MLAs who were suspended from Assembly

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday reinstated seven Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs who had been suspended from the Assembly last month for disrupting proceedings while Lieutenant-Governor VK Saxena was addressing the House, Bar and Bench reported.

The seven MLAs who were reinstated are Mohan Singh Bisht, Ajay Mahawar, OP Sharma, Abhay Verma, Anil Bajpai, Jitender Mahajan, and Vijender Gupta.

On February 15, they had allegedly interrupted Saxena several times while he was reading out the achievements of the Aam Aadmi Party government in the national capital.

A day later, Aam Aadmi Party MLA Dilip Pandey had proposed a resolution in the Assembly to suspend the legislators. Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, after referring the issue to the Committee of Privileges, accepted the resolution.

The seven MLAs were suspended till the panel gave its findings. The legislators then moved the Delhi High Court challenging their suspension.

On Wednesday, High Court said that the decision to suspend the MLAs was against the provisions laid down by the Assembly. It said that the Speaker, who is an impartial arbitrator and conducts the House, did not take the decision independently.

Justice Subramonium Prasad also said that an order of suspension could only be passed after the members were heard.

“Since the petitioners have already undergone the suspension of 14 sittings, this court is of the opinion that the petitioners should be permitted to rejoin the House forthwith,” the judge said.

In their petition, the BJP MLAs said that their suspension was “grossly unconstitutional”. They alleged that suspending seven of them was “an attempt to silence the Opposition” during the Budget session as the BJP only has eight MLAs in the 70-member Delhi Assembly.

They told the court that they had apologised to the Lieutenant Governor in response to the allegations of them disrupting his speech and that he had accepted their apology.

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