The Delhi High Court has asked AAP MLA Alka Lamba and BJP legislator O P Sharma, who was suspended from Delhi Assembly for two sessions for allegedly making derogatory remarks against her, to appear before it with an “open mind” Thursday to resolve the issue.
“The lady may come to court, I will talk to them and settle the matter,” Justice Manmohan Singh said Wednesday after the lawyer for the Delhi Legislative Assembly said “there was a chance” the matter could be considered “if Sharma apologised”.
Senior Advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, appearing for the Assembly, agreed to the court’s suggestion that “a chance” may be given to “settle” the issue. Initially, the lawyer had raised objection to the plea filed by Sharma challenging his suspension, stating that the court could not hear a plea challenging a resolution passed by the Assembly. “There is a bar on court interference into matters of the legislature,” argued Nandrajog. The lawyer also informed the bench that the decision to suspend Sharma for the next two sessions was taken after the Assembly ethics committee had recommended his expulsion, as he had “refused to apologise”.
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The judge, however, noted the plea filed by Sharma claimed he had tendered an apology to Lamba, and “he felt regret” for the incident. Nandrajog then cited the ethics committee report, which claims Sharma refused to apologise for his remarks and did not express any remorse.
The judge commented, “I want that nobody, be it in Assembly or Parliament, nobody should use such words. Why people have got so many freedoms if this is how they are?” The judge also said Sharma and Lamba should “come with an open mind” for the discussion.
Senior advocate Aman Lekhi, who was representing Sharma, said Lamba had also made remarks against Sharma that had not been placed on record. With an Assembly session scheduled to start at 2 pm Thursday, the court called Lamba and Sharma to appear before it at 10.30 am, so that legal arguments could be heard after “settling” the issue.
In a resolution passed on March 31, Sharma was suspended from attending the next two Assembly sessions. In his plea before court, he has claimed that the Assembly Rules regarding suspension and expulsion of MLAs were violated by the AAP. The plea, filed through advocate Nitya Sharma, has also claimed the ethics committee acted in a “biased and malafide manner”.