HC seeks EDMC stand on challenge to suspension of AAP members
The high court issued notice on the petition by 17 suspended members and also sought the stand of Mayor of East Delhi Shyam Sunder Aggarwal on the petition which would be heard next on October 29.The petitioners, represented by senior advocate Rahul Mehra and lawyer Anupam Srivastava said that the order of suspension was illegal and contrary to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act which provides for suspension of a councillor only in the presence of two orders of withdrawal from two successive meetings within fifteen days of each other.
The Delhi High Court Friday sought response from the East Delhi Municipal Corporation on a challenge to the suspension of Aam Aadmi Party councillors for allegedly creating a ruckus in the House and permitted them to attend a special meeting of the corporation held during the day. The high court clarified that as an interim arrangement it was granting permission to the suspended councillors to attend the session which would be subject to the members maintaining decorum in the House and if the EDMC is successful in defending the suspension order, appropriate orders will be passed regarding the presence of the suspended members in the meeting. “It is directed that by way of an interim arrangement, the petitioners be permitted to attend the special session of the respondent today(Friday). The same would however be subject to the undertaking by the senior counsel for the petitioner that they will maintain the decorum of the Sabha/House and it is clarified that the permission is granted to attend the session would be subject to the outcome of the petition. ''If the respondent is successful in showing (the legality of the suspension), the court will consider passing appropriate order regarding the presence of the petitioners in session today,” Justice Rekha Palli said. The high court issued notice on the petition by 17 suspended members and also sought the stand of Mayor of East Delhi Shyam Sunder Aggarwal on the petition which would be heard next on October 29.
The petitioners, represented by senior advocate Rahul Mehra and lawyer Anupam Srivastava said that the order of suspension was illegal and contrary to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act which provides for suspension of a councillor only in the presence of two orders of withdrawal from two successive meetings within fifteen days of each other. Lawyer Mini Pushkarna, representing EDMC, stated that the members were suspended for resorting to disorderly behaviour for fifteen days which was expiring on October 12 and eleven days have already passed. “How does it matter? Was it (order) preceded by the two orders that you are out? Section 79(3) says there is no right to suspend unless there are two orders,” the court responded.
EDMC lawyer said that the suspended members disrupted the three meetings which were held from July to September and sought time to place on record the orders of withdrawal passed in the case. The court recorded that the suspension order did not refer to the passing of the two orders. In its petition, the suspended members have said they were never afforded an opportunity of being heard and no show cause notice was issued to them which violates the principles of natural justice. They also argued that no “grave disorderly conduct is discernible” from the suspension order and suspension is “inherently biased”. In the notice issued on September 27, EDMC Mayor said that the opposition councillors “disrupted the proceedings of the House”, “started shouting slogans in front of the Mayor's podium”, “ransacked the house and also scuffled and destroyed government property, creating a lot of ruckus”. “Today, the behaviour of the opposition councillors in the house has tarnished the dignity of the house and the members. Therefore, since they have come to disturb the proceedings of the House, shouting slogans and scuffles with the councillors and damage to the government property. I being a mayor of EDMC expel Aam Admi Party counsellors from the house (except Smt. Rekha Dixit and Smt. Reshma) from the house for 15 days,” the notice stated.
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