Forgoing a second vacation day to put an end to the BJP-AAP spat over the suspension of BJP MLA O P Sharma, a bench of the Delhi High Court will pronounce its order Saturday on whether it can hear the plea filed by Sharma challenging his suspension.
The bench of Justice Manmohan Singh had called Sharma and AAP MLA Alka Lamba to his court Thursday to “settle the matter”, even though the court was closed.
As no consensus could be reached, the judge decided to hear the case Friday. Sharma had been suspended for two sessions for making “derogatory remarks” against Lamba. He has denied the charge and claimed his words were taken out of context.
Opposing the plea filed by Sharma, the Delhi government told the bench that the BJP MLA had “shamelessly lied in his petition” and “misled” the court regarding Assembly proceedings which led to his suspension.
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Senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, however, conceded that the court would have the jurisdiction to hear pleas against a decision of the Assembly, but argued that Sharma had filed the “wrong memo of parties” as he had not made the government a party to the case.
Nandrajog also pointed out several instances of alleged misbehaviour by Sharma, claiming he had “broken the discipline” of the House.
Sharma’s counsel, senior advocate Aman Lekhi, argued that the Assembly had “acted contrary to its own rules” in suspending Sharma as he was being “punished thrice” for the same incident. Lekhi said the Assembly Speaker had asked Sharma to leave the House for the day, and then issued suspension orders for the two next sessions. “This is a case of misapplication of legislative privilege,” argued Lekhi, adding that “the House cannot change procedures on a whim”.
Nandrajog said while Sharma had been asked to leave the House on a previous occasion, no motion had been moved to suspend him, on any other occasion.