The Delhi High Court on Thursday observed that former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav may have to refund the salary drawn by him during the pendency of his petition challenging his disqualification as a Rajya Sabha member, if he was not successful in his plea. The observation by the Justice Rajiv Shakdher came during the hearing of an application moved by Ram Chandra Prasad Singh, who is leader of the JD(U) in the Upper House, seeking modification of the court’s order allowing Yadav to enjoy the perks, salary, allowances and bungalow of an MP.
The court, however, did not pass any order and listed the matter for directions on March 21 when it will decide whether Yadav’s plea has to be heard by a single judge or a division bench. The matter was listed for directions as Singh in his plea has sought that Yadav’s petition against his disqualification be heard by a division bench of the high court, a PTI report said.
Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Rajya Sabha chairman, said his client’s stand would be indicated by way of an affidavit before the next date of hearing. In his application, moved through advocates Gopal Singh and Shivam Singh, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh has said that since payment of emoluments and allowances to MPs are based on their participation in the House proceedings, Yadav was not entitled to such benefit as he has not been permitted to attend the Parliament or its committees.
“Therefore, the petitioner should be subject to the principle of ‘no work, no pay’,” the application has said seeking a change of the December 15, 2017 interim order. The high court on December 15 last year, while refusing to grant an interim stay on Yadav’s disqualification, had allowed him to draw his salary, allowances, perks and retain the bungalow.
The same order was later passed by the court on a similar plea moved by Yadav’s colleague and MP, Ali Anwar, both of whom were disqualified from the Upper House by the December 4, 2017, order of the RS chairman. Yadav has challenged his disqualification on several grounds, including that he was not given any chance to present his views by the Rajya Sabha chairman before he passed the order.
On the other hand, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh had sought disqualification of Yadav and Anwar on the ground that they had attended a rally of opposition parties in Patna in violation of party directives. Yadav joined hands with the opposition after the JD(U) president and Bihar chief minister, Nitish Kumar, had dumped the alliance with the RJD and the Congress in Bihar and tied up with the BJP in July last year.
Yadav was elected to the Rajya Sabha last year and his term is scheduled to end in July 2022. Anwar’s term was to expire this (rpt this) year. Both were disqualified under the Anti-Defection Act. Yadav’s plea, filed through advocate Nizam Pasha, said that the December 4, 2017 order had disqualified him in an “extremely casual and callous way”.