New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha Monday revoked the suspension of Aam Aadmi Party MP Raghav Chadha, a month after the Supreme Court voiced concern over its “indefinite” nature.
Chadha was suspended for 115 days, from 11 August, for “breach of privilege”. While the Committee of Privileges lifted his suspension, it still held him at fault over the charges.
Earlier this year, the MP was censured for proposing the names of four Rajya Sabha MPs, including two from the ruling BJP, to a panel to study the Delhi services ordinance (now a law). It was alleged that the Chadha had done so without their consent.
The services law, which gives the Centre control over bureaucracy in the capital, has been a major flashpoint between Delhi’s AAP and the BJP-led central government.
Chadha had refuted the charges then, saying the current rules did not suggest that an MP’s signature or written consent was needed to propose their name for a select committee.
The Committee of Privileges report said Chadha was “guilty of intentionally and deliberately presenting misleading facts to the media, misinterpreted proceedings of the council, resulting to the affront to the authority of the chairman, Rajya Sabha and engaged in outrageous defiance of the resolutions of the house and directives of the honourable chairman Rajya Sabha”.
The MP “included names of members in the proposed committee without their consent in blatant transgression of rule 272 of rules of procedure of conduct of business in the council of states”, it further said.
As for any sentence, the period of suspension was “sufficient to meet justice”, it added.
In a video message Monday — the first day of Parliament’s winter session — the AAP MP said the suspension was lifted only after he sought the Supreme Court’s intervention in the case.
“I could not raise your voice in Parliament for 115 days, I could not ask the government your questions, nor could I get you answers,” Chadha said in the message, addressing his supporters and constituents.
He also thanked the top court and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar for Monday’s decision.
Hearing Chadha’s case on 30 October, the top court had observed that the suspension of an opposition party member had very serious repercussions on the rights of people they represented.
Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud had observed: “It is about representation of people. We must be very careful about not excluding those voices from Parliament. As a constitutional court, this is a serious cause of concern. The indefinite suspension is a cause of concern.”