The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday a plea moved by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha, challenging his indefinite suspension from the Rajya Sabha.
A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra is scheduled to hear the plea of Chadha, who was suspended on the last day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament on August 11 for “gross violation of rules, misconduct, defiant attitude and contemptuous conduct”, pending a report by the privileges committee.
In his plea filed through advocate Shadan Farasat, the AAP leader has said the power to suspend indefinitely is dangerously open to excess and abuse.
“The power to suspend is meant only to be used as a shield and not as a sword, that is, it cannot be penal,” the plea has said, adding that “the suspension is in clear breach of Rule 256 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States, which incorporates a categorical prohibition against the suspension of any member for a period exceeding the remainder of the session”.
It has been noted that suspension beyond the remaining period of an ongoing session would not only be a grossly irrational measure but would also be violative of basic democratic values owing to the unessential deprivation of the member concerned and more importantly, the constituency remaining unrepresented in the House.
The plea has said suspension cannot have the effect of dismissal as, in terms of Article 101(4) of the Constitution, the effect of an indefinite suspension, particularly outside the period of a session is to de-facto create a vacancy after a period of 60 days.
On August 11, a motion was passed by a voice vote in the Rajya Sabha after it was moved by Leader of the House Piyush Goyal, who sought action against the AAP leader for including the names of some members of the Upper House without their consent in a proposed select committee for the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.