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Delhi HC declares expelled AAP MLA Binny independent legislator, stays Speaker’s letter

Delhi HC listed the matter for further hearing on March 4.

Delhi HC issued notices to Speaker of the House and AAP on Binny's petition. (PTI Photo) Delhi HC issued notices to Speaker of the House and AAP on Binny’s petition. (PTI Photo)

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday stayed the Assembly Speaker’s letter which said that MLA Vinod Kumar Binny continued to be a member of the Aam Aadmi Party despite his expulsion from it.

Justice Manmohan said the Supreme Court verdict, relying upon which the Speaker had said that Binny will have to tow the party line in any transaction of business on the floor of the House, will not be applicable on him.

“Letter dated February 11, 2014 of the Speaker of the Delhi Assembly is stayed till the next date of hearing and the G Vishwanathan judgement (relied upon by the Speaker) will not be applicable to the petitioner,” the court said.

The court issued notices to the Speaker of the House and Aam Aadmi Party on Binny’s petition and listed the matter for further hearing on March 4.

Justice Manmohan observed that as the question of law raised by Binny is seized of by the apex court, which has stayed the operation of the G Vishwanathan verdict in the case of Amar Singh and Jaya Prada, “this court is of the opinion that the petitioner’s right (for a relief) should not be curtailed”.

The apex court had in 2010 stayed the operation of its verdict to protect them from disqualification as MPs after they were expelled by the Samajwadi Party.

The apex court in the G Vishwanathan verdict had held that an expelled member continued to be part of the party which set him up as a candidate during elections.

During the proceedings, the high court said that while Binny has raised questions of law, it is bound by the apex court verdict which has not been stayed.

However, advocate Rahul Raj Malik, appearing for Binny, contended the legislator’s case is similar to that of Amar Singh and Jaya Prada and thus, he should be treated at parity with them.

Agreeing with the contention, the high court in its interim order said that it is of the view “that petitioner’s (Binny) case is on the same lines as that of Amar Singh and Jaya Prada”.

Meanwhile, advocate Zubeda Begum, appearing for the Delhi Assembly Speaker said that the petition is “premature” and there is no immediate threat to Binny as the Assembly is in suspended animation.

She also said that the apex court had stayed its verdict only in relation to Amar Singh and Jaya Prada and thus, the entire judgement is binding upon the high court.

Binny in his petition has sought that he be declared as an independent legislator and also objected to the whips he was issued on February 12 and 13 to vote in favour of the party in the House.

Elected from the Laxmi Nagar constituency on AAP ticket, Binny has challenged the view taken by Delhi Assembly Speaker that despite his expulsion, he remained an AAP member and would be bound by a party whip.

The expelled AAP member has termed the view of the Speaker as “grossly illegal, biased and prejudiced” and has accused him of colluding with the party.

Binny’s counsel had yesterday contended before the high court that once AAP voluntarily severed ties with him, how can the party issue him commands?

The MLA’s counsel had also contended that Binny was pressurised and compelled to vote in favour of the party and alleged the Speaker colluded with the AAP in this regard.

During the proceedings yesterday, the counsel appearing for the Speaker had said that the petition was premature as the Assembly is in suspended animation and there is no immediate threat that Binny would be disqualified.

The court, however, had observed that once the disqualification petition is moved in the Assembly then the courts cannot interfere.

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