The Delhi High Court on Tuesday imposed a cost of Rs 5,000 each on the Centre and the Delhi government for not filing their responses on a petition alleging illegal convening of a two-day session of Delhi Legislative Assembly last year. Justice Rajiv Shakdher said despite several opportunities, the Centre and state government, Lieutenant Governor and the Secretary of Delhi Legislative Assembly have not filed their replies to the petition and granted them the last opportunity to place on record their response.
During the hearing, Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh and the counsel for the Ministry of Home Affairs sought one more opportunity to file their reply. The court allowed the plea, saying “Last opportunity is granted subject to payment of cost of Rs 5,000 each by the respondents. The cost shall be paid to the petitioner”. The judge also made it clear that no further opportunity would be granted and listed the matter for May 17.
Advocate R P Luthra, appearing for the petitioner, said despite repeated directions, the authorities have not filed their counter affidavits and should be burdened with cost. The court was hearing a plea challenging the legality of the two-day winter session of the Assembly held on January 17 -18, 2017, and the decisions taken during the sitting. The petition was filed by lawyer Prashant Kumar Umrao, alleging that the two-day session was held illegally.
The plea, filed through advocate R P Luthra, has claimed that by not inviting the LG to address the Delhi Legislative Assembly, the AAP government was “dishonouring” his office.
The petition also said that the rules stipulated that at commencement of the first session each year, LG shall address the House. When the two-day session of the Assembly commenced, Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta had objected to it saying by not inviting new Lt Governor Anil Baijal to address the “first session of the year”, the government has “violated and misused” rules.
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had rejected Gupta’s charge, saying this sitting was not a new session in a new calender year but was part of the 2016 Winter Session.