Delhi High Court: In a petition filed by the petitioner, Mr. Vijender Gupta, a sitting MLA of the Delhi Legislative Assembly (‘DLA’), challenging the suspension order which was imposed on him during the proceedings of the DLA on 21-03-2023, Prathiba M Singh, J., sets aside the suspension order in terms of Rule 227(3)(b) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (‘Rules’) because the suspension could have only to be for a period of three days which the petitioner has already served in effect.
Placing reliance on Ashish Shelar v. The Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 105, and perusing Rule 227(3)(b), the Court noted that the suspension is graded. Under Rule 277(1), the Speaker can direct any MLA to be suspended for the remainder of the day’s sitting if the conduct is disorderly. Rule 277(3)(b) clearly requires that, on the first occasion, the suspension can only be for three sittings. On the second occasion, the suspension can be for seven sittings and the suspension beyond the remainder of the session would be contrary to the law.
The Court further noted that the Delhi Legislative Assembly’s budget session is ongoing, and the petitioner has remained suspended for four days i.e., 21-03-2023, 22-03-2023, 23-03-2023 and 24-03-2023 in view of the impugned suspension order.
The Court remarked that on perusal of the summary of proceedings, there was disturbance caused during the sitting of the House by the petitioner and the ruling party members. There is no saying that the Members of the Legislative Assembly or any other elected house must maintain dignity of the house in order to play a positive role owing to the mandate of the people.
The Court observed that the record of the proceedings shows that this was the first suspension that was meted out to the petitioner. Thus, 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.
The Court set aside the suspension order and directed the petitioner to attend the DLA from Monday i.e., 27-03-2023.
[Vijender Gupta v Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 1799, decided on 24-03-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case:
Mr. Jayant Mehta, Sr. Adv. with Mr. Pavan Narang, Mr. Neeraj, Mr. Satya Ranjan Swain, Mr. Amit Tiwari, Mr. Ripu Daman Bhardwaj, Ms. Jyoti Taneja, Mr. Shoumendu Mukherjee, Mr. Himanshu Sethi, Mr. Shrey Sherawat, Mr. Aman Jha, Mr. Kautilya Birat, Sanket Gupta, Rajesh Mishra, Aishwarya Chhabra, Rudra Paliwal, Advocates for the Petitioner;
Mr. Sameer Vashisht, ASC, Civil GNCTD. Mr. Parth Vibhu, Advocate for the Respondent.