The Supreme Court is set to hear a plea on Monday filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha, challenging his indefinite suspension from the Rajya Sabha.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra is scheduled to consider Chadha’s plea. He was suspended on the last day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, August 11, for alleged “gross violation of rules, misconduct, defiant attitude, and contemptuous conduct.” The suspension is pending a report by the privileges committee.
In his plea, filed through advocate Shadan Farasat, Chadha argues that the power to suspend indefinitely is dangerously open to excess and abuse. The plea emphasizes that the power to suspend should serve as a protective measure and not as a punitive one. It contends that the suspension violates Rule 256 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of States, which prohibits the suspension of any member for a period exceeding the remainder of the session.
The plea also asserts that suspending a member beyond the remaining period of an ongoing session is irrational and runs counter to democratic values by leaving the constituency unrepresented. It argues that suspension cannot have the effect of dismissal, as it would effectively create a vacancy after 60 days, as per Article 101(4) of the Constitution.
On August 11, a motion was passed in the Rajya Sabha by a voice vote, following a proposal by Leader of the House Piyush Goyal. The motion sought action against Chadha for including the names of some Rajya Sabha members in a proposed select committee for the government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, without their consent.