A plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to declare a part of the Delhi Assembly proceedings from May 9, when a special session on ‘alleged tampering of EVMs and threat to democracy’ was conducted, unconstitutional and illegal.
When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, Delhi government’s Standing Counsel Ramesh Singh raised objection to the maintainability of the plea. Noting the arguments, a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed both the parties to give their written submissions and the case in law they will rely on for and against the maintainability of the plea.
According to the petition filed by advocate Abhishek Aanand Rai, during the Assembly discussion, a member, Saurabh Bharadwaj, with the permission of the chairman, gave a live demonstration on the manner in which EVMs could be tampered. Rai said he was “aggrieved” by the proceedings, whereby the Speaker allowed permission for the short-duration discussion, the conduct of the discussion and the demonstration, moving of the resolution with the leave of the House, reply to the discussion by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and passing of the amended resolution.
The plea said the proceedings were violative of the provisions of the Constitution of India and the principle of separation of powers. It said that the plea was only seeking a “declaratory judgment” on the issue of constitutionality of the proceedings.
As per the plea, the rules and standing orders which regulated the procedure of the legislature mandate that a member cannot express any opinion on any matter under consideration of a court of justice. But the resolution moved by Bharadwaj was of an issue that was pending adjudication by the Supreme Court, it said. The plea claimed that the proceeding was unconstitutional as the legislature did not have power to discuss an issue in the exclusive domain of the Election Commission.
“Because if such unconstitutionality and illegality is not decided then a confusing precedent will be set… disturbing the fine balance of power much crucial for survival and existence of a vibrant democracy,” the plea said.
The matter has been posted for hearing on February 8.